Military end users can be let down if the transit and storage aspects of their kit requirements are not considered in conjunction with frontline operational needs. Here, Neal Peters from CP Cases makes the case for factoring how military equipment is stored and transported into the design process.
Transit cases, rack systems and rugged textiles are an essential but often forgotten aspect of the equipment supply chain, and leaving such considerations until the end of the delivery process can mean that the mobile and flexible aspect of apparatus is devalued by supplying large and unwieldy cases and inappropriate rack systems.
Considering how equipment is stored and transported while being protected against the elements, the transport environment and use by Service personal, who by their own admission are not always the most careful, should really be part of the complete design process, so that the most appropriate design can be implemented and supplied to suit the requirements of the equipment.
While one cannot account for every location and scenario in which a particular piece of gear could be used, incorporating transit considerations into the design process can however provide a more complete product and superior experience for the end user, leading on to further engagement with the supplier in the future.
Below is just one example of how integrating the transit and storage aspect into a frontline requirement delivered a product greater than its original requirement.
With NATO operations in Afghanistan utilising Polish troops, the Polish Army required the latest field hospital and first aid equipment to support injured troops. The supplier of first responder equipment was required to provide tough, robust but light cases that would transport equipment to the front line safely and securely. An additional requirement was for a table to support critical equipment that would help to save lives.
Working with a leading designer and manufacturer of rotomoulded cases, specialising in supplying to the defence sector, the application required the container to accommodate each piece of first aid equipment in its own dedicated area and to be transformable into a field table capable of carrying loads of 100kg on the largest cases.
Amazon Cases and Racks™ is a range of rotationally moulded cases available in standard sizes which are used globally by armed forces, military tested and certified to MIL-STD-810F. The Amazon design team created a solution which would allow a standard case to be used as a table, with the lid free-hinged to enable it to open to 180°; using protective foam inserts, the team provided discrete cut-outs for each item of first aid apparatus. Reinforced plates were attached to the outside of the lid, where the supporting legs could screw into, and detachable webbing stays were attached so the lid could be held open at 90°.
More high-density foam was shaped and fixed into the lid to create a level platform for equipment to rest on; when not in use, the legs could be stored in the body of the lid and secured with velcro straps.
The body of the case counter-balanced the weight placed on the table, ensuring that no tipping occurred when equipment was in place. Thanks to this design feature, only the minimum number of legs was needed.
The customised solution exceeded the basic requirement and was delivered ahead of schedule, and was in active use during the Polish Army’s deployment in Afghanistan.
This is just one example of how considering transit competencies and design aspects in conjunction with operational needs can deliver a superior capability.
For more information, visit: www.cpcases.com