Enhancing highway safety by capping the top of motorway barrier stanchions simply makes sense, so we were delighted to be approached by a major multi-national company with just such aspirations.
The product concept was about preventing sharp-edge injuries, especially among highway maintenance workers, by supplying a soft-edged plastic cap to these upright post components, with the particular challenge being presented by the uneven and irregular finishes presented by these stanchions in the real world (burred edges, warped surface, unevenly installed components etc all lead to less-than-perfect uniformity among posts).
The client approached Knight to present some examples of similar work, after which stage we supplied a series of potential drawings. From this a design concept was selected and we set about 3D printing a sample which was applied to some existing posts as a test run. Within just a few days we had agreed a design that was flexible, easy to install yet difficult to remove.
We manufactured a tool and, working with the client, experimented with various moulding materials to obtain the right level of flexibility and rigidity, at which point we modified the tool (to improve fit) and set about injection moulding a first trial batch.
This proved successful and we now supply these products to the client on just two weeks’ notice, and are in the process of developing future tools for new projects.