Improvement of field of vision in dirty environments : - A case study on Volvo wheel loaders
This master thesis was conducted at Volvo Construction Equipment at the cabs department in Eskilstuna, Sweden. The work comprises 30 credits and was carried out by Dennis Björnberg from Mälardalen University during the fall 2015.
Volvo Construction Equipment is one of the largest manufacturers of construction equipment and among their products are wheel loaders. The assignment involves an investigation and evaluation of today’s windshield and wiper system for large wheel loader which is in need of improvements as today’s solution has reliability issues. As a result the cab department wants new concepts and solution for next generation of wheel loader that considers the current solution issues. This project aims to develop new concepts which answer the research questions developed to guide the project.
The executed development process consists of three phases; problem formulation, concept development and finally product development. The first phase, problem formulation involves literature studies, project definition and demand specifications to formulate and guide the project in the right direction. The second phase develops primary concepts and comparisons with competitors and other solutions in a benchmarking leading to a development of the final concept in phase three. The development process resulted in a wide concept solution consisting of a new shaped windshield, a wiper system adjusted to the new windshield and with new frameless wiper blades, a conceptual pneumatic air system to investigate if an air barrier can keep the windshield clean and a recommendation regarding hydrophobic coatings for windshield´s.
The development process resulted in a concept proposing a new shaped windshield system where the side sections is curved for a smooth transition between the sections and a modified wiper system with a wider wiping angle and more square
The conclusion drawn from the project it that it is possible to improve today’s solution to develop new conceptual solutions but almost all the performance originates from the windshield´s shape and curvature. The recommendations include among others to further investigate the windshield´s shape and it effects in the wiper system, develop prototypes to further investigates the efficiency of a pneumatic system in dry environments as a replacement for wiping without fluids and to watch the development of new hydrophobic materials and coatings with better durability and lifetime.
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