Coming Generations Material Handling Equipment

2017 Design for User Experience/ People-Centred Design

10-week term project in collaboration with Kalmar Global



This project was carried out in collaboration with Kalmar Global. The objective was to identify relevant design opportunities for Kalmar's Mobile Equipment division based on insights gained from on-site research. Kalmar, which is a part of the Cargotec group, provides cargo and in particularly container handling solutions and services to ports, terminals, distribution centres and heavy industry - with one in four container moves around the globe being handled by a Kalmar solution.
Kalmar products include forklifts, terminal tractors, quay cranes, yard cranes, Automated stacking cranes, shuttle and straddle carriers, reachstackers and equipment for empty container handling.

Work method

During the first week of the project, the APD students made a research trip to Cargotec's assembly plant in Stargarden, Poland, followed by two day trip to Hamburg with several customer visits in the Hamburg harbour area and at a steel mill in order to get insights to specialised handling solutions for containers and heavy material transports. After returning to Sweden a visit was also made to a local saw mill to see larger forklifts in operation. 

In the project's second phase the students presented their findings and were introduced to methods for sharing information and generating ideas from the insights obtained. The outcome of these activities was used to identify and establish a number of design opportunities. After this, each student was asked to choose a design opportunity, carry out additional research and to write an individual design brief, specifying how this design challenge would be addressed by the student the remaining time of the project. When preparing for the final presentation the students also made physical models of their final design concept. 


The final result of the project were 12 different concepts of new product solutions and systems within the area of autonomous handling of both full and empty containers.

Contact person from Kalmar and Lighthaus:

Per-Erik Johansson, Project Manager Coming Generations, Kalmar Mobile Equipment. Hans Zachau, Industrial Designer M.Sc, Lighthaus Industrial Design.

External tutor and model making instructor:

Johan Gustafsson, Industrial Designer, Struktur Design.

Internal tutors:

Jonas Sandström, teacher in form and visualization.
Oscar Björk, project tutoring and support.

Course responsible and internal tutor:

Thomas Degn, Programme Director for the APD programme.