On the road with Scania - developing tomorrow’s trucks.
It costs billions, and takes 10-15 years to develop a new generation
Head of Electrical Power System
– A truck is built of thousands of parts, says Martin Lampinen, Head of Electrical Power Systems at Scania in Södertälje, Sweden. When we develop a new range of trucks we need to work intensively with prototypes
– test, change and fine-tune little by little to achieve an optimal solution for each part. It would be way too expensive, slow and complicated to do it with traditional technology and large tools. Digital production, 3D printing, is a fast and cost-effective alternative to build the test vehicles we need.
More than 50 prototype trucks in 13 different generations were built for different applications and markets. And these were complete vehicles used for long term testing, clima-
te tests, energy consumption tests and crash tests.
– Digital Mechanics has been one of our partners in this project since 2010, when they got some smaller trial orders from us. These worked out real well with high quality and short delivery times. The cooperation continued to include more than 100 prototype parts, including dashboards, structural parts for the doors, cable channels, evacuation valves and grommets for e.g. cabling between doors and cab. Now, these are parts that are produced in large volumes in plastics, rubber or metal for the trucks.
– Our digital input to Digital Mechanics is CAD-files and 3D-models that they download to their software. The 3D-printed prototypes are then either produced at their workshop in Västerås, Sweden,
or in smaller batches via their subcontractors.
– The first sketches of our new truck models were made in 2007, Martin explains. Then the work slowly became more concrete until it really took off in 2010. Finally, the trucks were introduced in 2016. Our whole system is built on modules. The customers can specify exactly how they want their trucks to be
built, depending on where and how they are going to be used.
We can supply different cab heights, chassis, and various solutions to a very fine level of detail.
– Our cooperation with Digital Mechanics is very successful, Martin says. We will now continue by doing small changes and fine-tuning to the new truck parts, where Digital Mechanics is one of our partners for prototyping.
– There is rapid development in the automobile and truck industries, not least the conversion to various types of electrical drive systems. Scania is a major player in this technology shift, and it is both interesting and challenging to be part of this development, Martin Lampinen concludes.
We greatly appreciate our cooperation with Scania, and value the confidence that they show in us. This project has been an incredibly important learning experience. Already from the beginning we put a lot of effort into creating efficient logistics solutions and smart, cost-effective 3D production. After the launch, the Scania team arrived and showed us the new truck. To us, it was very interesting to get an understanding of what we had been part of developing.
Anders Sjöberg, Digital Mechanics