Philippe Luminet joined the Haulotte group in 2001 and has been in charge of innovation since 2011. In his 18-year career, he has held various positions in the marketing, research and innovation departments.
What place does innovation occupy today within the group?
Innovation plays a central role in our development strategy. We design and assemble aerial work platforms and lifting equipment as we innovate, and we innovate as we produce. Nevertheless, innovation at Haulotte is a field work, initiated by our customers for our customers, which should not be confused with invention or theoretical research.
Innovation only exists at Haulotte if it is made available on the market. Our work therefore consists in detecting and identifying innovation opportunities within our environment, assessing their impact and relevance and then transforming them into concrete achievements with added value for all stakeholders. The development of any innovation requires a 360-degree approach. It must be designed for all users or actors in the ecosystem: rental companies, transport companies, repairers, users… and throughout its use cycle in order to allow them to do their job.
How do you concretely organize the development of innovation?
The innovation department, located at the group’s headquarters in L’Horme, France, is composed of a team of 25 to 30 professionals. They constitute the core of each development project. We then operate in a very flexible way with variable geometry teams including all the group’s skills and professions, adapted to each project.
The development of the new generation of Pulseo 100% electric off-road booms launched in 2018, which includes various innovation components, has mobilized several hundreds of professionals in all the Group’s businesses. The first “HA20 LE” model is a complete product that has condensed the group’s innovative work over the past 10 or 15 years in all its dimensions: mechanical, electrical, digital, etc.
It is this constant collaborative innovation work that ultimately allows us to offer a machine that is ahead of its time and is perfectly meeting the needs and expectations of professionals.
What are these expectations for innovation today?
Our customer’s – lifting equipment rental companies and end the users of our machines – work environment is increasingly constrained and demanding in terms of productivity and safety, whether in urban or peri-urban environments, indoors or outdoors, day and night and sometimes in extreme weather conditions, is subject to increasingly stringent regulations.
Our innovations are therefore aiming for a greater versatility, an optimised operating comfort, efficiency in use, reduced maintenance costs and enhanced safety.
Among these, which innovations is the Haulotte group most proud of?
Safety first. For example, we have developed and registered a patent for an operator crash prevention system, the ACTIV’ Shield Bar. This is a 100% Haulotte innovation. It is a removable bar offering a safety margin (Safety Gap) that detects any risk of crushing and offers the operator the possibility of getting out of a potentially dangerous situation.
Also, for the safety of our users, we have developed a new lighting system: the ACTIV Lighting system. This allows operators to safely load and unload our truck machines when the light is low: at night, indoors on poorly lit construction sites, early in the morning or late in the evening, etc.
These two innovations now equip our products within the ‘PRO’ range.
Innovations in the electrical and digital fields also seem to be interesting?
Of course, the future is shaping up to be electric and digital.
We have worked a lot on battery management and the electrical architecture of our machines. For example, the “HA20 LE PRO” boom offers a continuous 360° turret rotation, which is a first for this electric range. In addition, the work initiated with the assistance of the CEA (French Atomic Energy Commission), has enabled us to propose more efficient battery management on the same equipment, with longer life spans and a 5-year guarantee.
From a digital point of view, we have just launched several applications, including a diagnostic aid. The “Haulotte Diag” application is a powerful new tool to assist in the maintenance of all our machines.
We also offer an augmented reality application: “Quick Positioning” allowing users to choose the machine best suited to their place of intervention, in a virtual way.
This is only the beginning, others are to come, and will be just as interesting for our ecosystem.