A New Design for the Market Leader
Aero Specialties is a leader in the Ground Support Equipment (GSE) market. Their products are used in the operation of airports and air bases world wide. Their existing lineup of JetGo ground power units includes a diesel hybrid variant. With new Tier 4 diesel emissions regulations, it was time to redesign the diesel JetGo with a completely new look and a new Tier 4 compliant drive train. Aero Specialties hired SGW Designworks for full design and engineering of the system around a pre-selected Tier 4 engine and alternator. The new system is called JetGo 900.
Adding Durability and Beauty
GSE products are subjected to a lot of abuse. They are typically used and stored out doors. The users are skilled and well trained, but are often rushed and under pressure. Aero Specialties wanted a design that would be super durable, but that would also provide a look that would set JetGo 900 apart form the competition.
SGW Designworks developed multiple possible exterior shapes for JetGo 900. The new Tier 4 engine is physically larger and runs hotter than the outgoing model. Defining a beautiful shape that allowed for sufficient cooling and airflow was a challenge. The winning shape incorporates aggressive visual elements, and was designed to be produced from rotational molded plastic. Aero Specialties had not used roto-molded plastic in their products before.
With such a bold material and choice, it was important to provide Aero Specialties leadership with a way to see the design in a realistic way before the investment in production tooling. SGW Designworks used Virtual Reality Prototyping to show the material, shape, and even texture in full scale. Aero Specialties leadership bought into the design approach and engineering commenced.
Full Development Leading to Production and Launch
During the engineering phases of the project, the team was carefully to ensure that all serviceable items (air filters, oil d=rain plugs, etc) were easily accessibly to maintenance personnel. Again, VR was used to allow maintenance technicians to approve the design. In parallel, the control system was developed, which included user interface design in an onboard PLC.
Roughly fourteen months after the start of project, production units were ready for sale. JetGo 900 is now launched, and is generating revenue for Aero Specialties. The product received a prestigious Good Design Award® from the Chicago Athenaeum in late 2020. To learn more, see our product development case study about this project.