The layperson may hear "fire engine" and think of a single vehicle type. In actuality the term refers to a variety of truck forms holding different types of equipment, each ordered according to a specific department's needs and customized by the manufacturer. That takes time, and time costs money.
In an effort to streamline both the manufacturing process and the end-user experience, Swiss fire engine manufacturer Brändle contracted not one, but two industrial design firms. Milan Rohrer and Shibuleru, both Zurich-based, collaborated on the design of Brändle's modular Neorosso vehicle.
"The new design is modular and allows individual equipment and configuration for each customer," writes Milan Rohrer Studio, with Shibuleru adding that they developed together "a more systemic and modular build process."
In terms of improving the user experience, both firms worked on "the overall design including the light installations, the introduction of the world's first on board hygiene station, all tactile interaction elements and the complete overhaul of the pump user interaction."
"Physical switches and buttons are a core requirement from commanders and machinists operating the pump. A graphic design treatment that is clear and immediately illustrates the water flow by the means of animated LED's integrated in the control panel renders the system volunteer proof.""The panel design is modular itself so it can display any possible configuration of inlets, outlets and mixtures."
"The fire teams can fully customize their vehicle while the manufacturing complexity of the command center is not impacted."
THE WORLD'S FIRST ON-BOARD HYGIENE STATION
"We designed the on-board hygiene station including touch-free water faucet, hand dryer integrated in the pull-out handle, air hose, mirror, eye rinsing pump and storage for gloves and towels."
"The station stores flush inside the truck and can be pulled-out fully within seconds for easy use."
"With the modular and user-oriented design," MRS concludes, "Brändle is one of the few companies that can respond very individually to customer needs and still compete with international competitors."
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Kudos to Brandle to incorporate real industrial designers in the process. I'm in the aviation field & I am witnessing an erosion in decades of hard won lessons in UX. The appreciation of design in the "heat of battle" is a life or death factor & engineers can be some of the worst offenders.
Interesting they don't put a single tool or kit in the front end of the vehicle. Everything is located in the back. Seems like it would be useful to have some basic tools up front if something happens to the back half of the truck. This seems like they stuck fire tools onto an existing truck design. It would be interesting to see a design from the ground up just for fire rescue.