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Ag-ricab - an innovative modular cab for special vehicles on the agricultural market.

The goal of the project is to develop an innovative cab for the market for agricultural machinery. The participating companies share knowledge, experiences and critical r&d content to exploit the result on the global market and strengthen their competitiveness.

The project "Ag-RiCab" is aimed at establishing a new state-of-the-art in the field of cabins for special vehicles on the agricultural market by developing an innovative modular cab combining comfort, modern technology, ergonomics and user-friendliness. Today, special vehicle builders experience substantial problems with purchasing cabs that live up to their technological needs and expectations. Cabs offered on the market today are highly inflexible units that cannot be universally applied with different types of agricultural machines and always require extensive modifications prior to installation on a selected vehicle. Cab manufacturers are, at the same time, unwilling to change their inflexible take-it-or-leave-it marketing and production approach. By embarking on the R&D challenges presented by the project, the cooperating parties, Rimaster AB, the Swedish supplier of cable harnesses, electrical cabinets and electronics and Visionengineering, the Belgian engineering company specializing in designing, engineering and prototyping, are striving to renew the branch based on old technology and old sales models and offer special vehicle producers a new perspective on the choice of cab features and cab design. Looking at the primary role of cabs in special agricultural vehicles, those necessary units shall attract customers, provide optimal and safe working conditions for the operator, as well as assure possibilities of implementing modern technologies and functional solutions in the areas available to the driver. Bearing those purposes in mind, Rimaster has during 2012 performed a comprehensive market analysis aimed at identifying customer needs and forces driving the choice of cab suppliers. The analysis involved interviews with Europe’s leading special vehicle builders including AVR, Delvano, Dezeure, Gilles, Joskin, Ménart, Holmer and Hovertrack. Potential customers advocate the pressing need and confirm their willingness-to-pay for a new modular cab that would renew current market standards by offering an inventive design and a new level of flexibility. The current project is therefore market-driven and the R&D activities take their origin in the specific technological demands communicated by the targeted customer group. In order to meet project objectives, the cooperating parties have to overcome some truly advanced technological challenges in the areas of modular and customizable design, electrical engineering, mounting time, mounting procedures, as well as environmental functionality of the new cab. Since the level of technological and financial risk is high, the project is proposed to be an Eureka project to reduce some of the financial risk involved. The project begins with R&D activities aimed at defining customer requirement specification as regards material, cab dimensions, cab modules and functionality, as well as electrical system and thermal behaviour of components. The subsequent phases focus on prototype development and prototype evaluation by field tests at chosen reference customers. The project ends with optimization of the cab construction with reference to the field tests and development of a cost effective manufacturing technology. At the end of the final stage of the project, the preparations for the market launch and commercialization are made. The project will result in the development of a new modular cab offering an innovative constructional concept and technological capabilities. By advancing this technological change in the cabs for special agricultural vehicles, the project participants stand a chance of increasing their international competitiveness, boosting their revenue and spreading their business risks. The project result will open up a new, fast developing market for both participants and allow them to reach a new customer group. When completing this project, Rimaster will be in possession of a prototype of a new modular cab with advanced competitive advantages ready to be put into large scale manufacturing. The company will also benefit from knowhow of a development of plastic components for cabs and a new method for managing product development projects for special vehicles on the agricultural market. Visionengineering, on the other hand, will gain new strategically valuable knowledge and experiences in designing components of modular cabs with functional design, manufacturing plastic details for special vehicles on the agricultural market, as well as realizing R&D projects within the agricultural industry. The knowledge generated in the course of the project will become a long-term asset in the participating companies and constitute the foundation for their future international growth and durable profitability.
Acronym: 
AG-RICAB
Project ID: 
8 061
Start date: 
01-03-2013
Project Duration: 
15months
Project costs: 
790 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Agriculture Machinery / Technology
Market Area: 
AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHING

Raising the productivity and competitiveness of European businesses through technology. Boosting national economies on the international market, and strengthening the basis for sustainable prosperity and employment.