Creating a new, modular line of tipping semi-trailers
Zamarbú wanted to develop a range of lightweight steel semi-trailer chassis, from 7500mm to 11500mm in length, for different types of tippers. Their goal was to create an additional product line for Zamarbú, who was keen to participate in the growing market for lightweight steel trailers.
The new steel chassis had to be competitive with their existing aluminum models for both weight and torsional stiffness. Plus, Zamarbú wanted components that were highly modular between the new steel models, to allow flexibility in product offerings and cost-efficient manufacturing.
Expertise in lightweighting steel designs and DFM
Zamarbú came to SSAB’s Product Development and Engineering (PDE) for their expertise in lightweighting steel designs and design for manufacturability (DFM). For DFM, Zamarbú wanted all of the new components to be made using existing, in-house equipment.
The project was started with a PDE innovation workshop, which is based on the SSAB ONE lean methodology. All stakeholders gather to set targets and priorities that guide the entire design, product development, and engineering. The workshop helped reduce the amount of time for a comprehensive product development to less than 3 months by maximizing collaboration and transparency.
Design iterations optimize semi-trailer performance and manufacturing
SSAB Product Engineering presented Zamarbú with two different design solutions for the main, longitudinal beam. Both designs needed to provide for modularity across the entire range of chassis lengths, that is from 7500 mm to 11500mm.
The first design option was a main beam comprised of three components: a front and rear beam, connected by a cast gooseneck. This design allowed for high flexibility in manufacturing, but did not rank well in terms of weight and costs. In addition to being heavier, the stresses on the cast gooseneck were determined to be too high. Also, C-beams needed to be connected to the gooseneck, which interfered with the connection of other components and mechanisms.