Optimus

Improving Volgren’s route bus manufacturing, performance and user experience using holistic design.

Investigators

Co-investigators

  • Dominic Lamanna
    Joseph Ganino
    Design Reality

Partner organisation

  • Volgren Australia, Pty Ltd

MADA’s design creativity and industrial design expertise supplemented Volgren’s engineering team perfectly, providing a fresh perspective to the product design process.

Michael Kearney, Engineering Manager of Volgren

The Optimus team redesigned Volgren’s core product, taking into account user needs and applying mass customisation principles, while using standardised designs where possible. The MADA team documented Volgren’s complex requirements into a product design specification. This resulted in the generation of new concepts which were primarily functional but also visually appealing. The concepts were then refined into production-ready components and MADA’s recommendations were incorporated into their standard manufacturing process. Dr Robbie Napper says “the wide range of stakeholders in the bus design, from depot mechanics to passengers, led to a complex set of product requirements. We applied a rigorous approach to the data and through studio research the results were taken all the way to a functional prototype vehicle that is now in national production.”

The strong relationship between MADA and Volgren has continued well past the Optimus project, testimony to the value of bringing together complementary skillsets from both organisations.