Who Are EGGER International?
EGGER’s 7,200 employees, in 17 locations across Europe, produce a comprehensive range of products made from wood-based materials as well as timber. The company generated a turnover of EUR 2.22 billion in 2013/14 and has customers worldwide in the furniture industry, wood distribution and DIY markets.
EGGER approached 4c Design for help with solving the problem of ’empty miles’ in logging trucks: this equates to the loss of tens of thousands of pounds per year. Our task was to find an economical solution suited to the harsh environment of the logging industry.
With EGGER, we quickly identified that the ’empty miles’ problem could be solved by double purposing their vehicles to transport both logs and wood chippings. We started the project by visiting EGGER’s sites and suppliers to research the logistics, equipment and challenges involved in the transportation of logs, sawdust and wood chippings. Based on our findings, we created a ‘Big Bag’ design concept, including conceptual method statements for its use. EGGER then asked us to develop this concept further to the prototyping stage. A 3D Computer Aided Design (CAD) model of one of EGGER’s logging trucks was built to provide a basis for further concept development. We then iteratively designed, made and tested a range of prototypes to investigate different construction materials, design features and operation methods. Please see the presentation we gave to EGGER’s Forestry Engineering Group for more details on our design of EGGER’s ‘Big Bag’.
Our final project deliverable was a full scale prototype bag that can be filled with up to 10 tons of wood chippings. Achieving this result involved overcoming a number of significant design challenges including irregular loading of the logging truck’s hydraulic forks; craning-off of the bag and environmental factors.
Mk1 Prototype Big Bag Testing. 7 tons of wood chips, loaded, driven, and unloaded.