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Hamm earns design prizes for studies into autonomous roller

At the Automotive Brand Contest 2018 prize giving ceremony in Paris on 2 October during the “Mondial de l'Automobile” trade fair: Gottfried Beer, Dr. Axel Römer (both HAMM), Ulrich Ewringmann, Julius Renz (both Dialogform).
At the Automotive Brand Contest 2018 prize giving ceremony in Paris on 2 October during the “Mondial de l'Automobile” trade fair: Gottfried Beer, Dr. Axel Römer (both HAMM), Ulrich Ewringmann, Julius Renz (both Dialogform).

In the past six months, HAMM AG has been recognized with two design prizes for their "Autonomous Roller F1," a study on autonomously operating rollers: The international Automotive Brand Contest 2018 jury awarded HAMM the label "Best of Best." A short time later, the compaction specialists from Tirschenreuth received the "German Design Award Gold 2019" for their compelling vision of the future.

HAMM has repeatedly been a source of trailblazing innovations in compaction technology over the past four decades. During this time, numerous new developments from Tirschenreuth have influenced road and earthwork compaction, sometimes even in a revolutionary way. As a leading manufacturer of construction equipment, HAMM has for many decades integrated the machine design into the overall construction and development process.

But what does good design mean in terms of a construction machine? For example, when operating errors are excluded through intelligent configuration and process structure, compaction quality increases and the operator work spaces are ergonomic and comfortable. Other examples of successful design are seen when the operator can effortlessly understand all the functions and operate the machine intuitively.

HAMM recognized this relationship early on and has been employing this knowledge in product development for around 30 years. To this end, HAMM has been working together with renowned external industrial designers in all phases of development since then. And to such great success that up to the end of 2017, HAMM had been awarded 37 international design and innovation prizes for trendsetting, user-friendly products and solutions - far more than any other company in the construction industry.

Design study “Autonomous Roller F1”: the elimination of the driver’s platform opens up numerous optimisation opportunities in design as well as for the construction process, for example the ratio of drum diameter to overall height.

"The systematic integration of product designers in the development process was totally unprecedented in our sector in the 1990s. Since then, design has been an integral part of the development strategy at HAMM. In this way, we are engendering our rollers with a 'HAMM-DNA' as a result of which the ergonomics, functionality and aesthetics are in perfect harmony," says Head of Marketing Gottfried Beer. HAMM will continue to pursue its tried-and-tested path in the years to come.

By way of example, for a number of years the developers have been working on a comprehensive research project aimed at automation in compaction technology. 

Accompanying design studies such as the "Autonomous Roller F1" are an integral part of the project, as are field trials with machines modified for the purpose.

Design study visualises technical possibilities

HAMM, together with the design team of Dialogform GmbH, recently received two design prizes for a study on autonomously operating rollers. It depicts what autonomously operating rollers might look like in future and gives some initial answers to the questions: What opportunities might present themselves if the need for an operator's platform was dispensed with? What impact might that have on characteristics such as height, width, drum diameter, drive system or tank volumes? And how can the design lead to greater economy and energy efficiency?

The "Autonomous Roller F1" visualizes the first answers. For example, the project shows that an autonomously operating roller could be equipped with markedly larger drums - a substantial advantage in terms of compaction quality. The novel design also leads to greater water carrying capacity and plenty of space for future-oriented drive concepts. Moreover, the design opens up new opportunities for aspects such as transport and ballasting.

The Automotive Brand Contest recognises outstanding product and communication design. At the 2018 competition, HAMM received the "Best of Best" award in the "Commercial Vehicle" category.

At the Automotive Brand Contest 2018, the only independent international design competition for outstanding product and communication design in the automobile and motor cycle sector, HAMM received the "Best of Best" award for this study in the category "Commercial Vehicles." It means that the construction machine manufacturer is joining the ranks of globally successful companies such as MAN Trucks, Mitsubishi, Continental, Audi, Cadillac, Porsche, Jaguar and Bentley.

Added to this achievement was the "German Design Award in Gold" in the category "Utility Vehicles" at the beginning of February 2019. The international competition was inaugurated by the German Design Council in 1953 and pursues the goal of identifying unique design trends. It highlights innovative products and projects as well as manufacturers and designers who are showing the way ahead in the German and international design landscape.

The prize-winning study on autonomous compaction clearly indicates that a roller of this kind needs numerous sensors, such as radar systems, laser sensors, cameras, GNSS receivers, infrared sensors and incline sensors.

The high-calibre, international German Design Awards jury explained their decision as follows: "With the study of these electrified and GPS-guided road rollers, the idea of autonomous driving is being systematically expanded to commercial and construction site vehicles. The design which is remarkably compact as well as extremely futuristic in appearance not only reflects the thinking behind the concept perfectly, but also has pragmatic reasons." Another factor that impressed the jurors was that the concept "also promises to bring about not least an improvement in working conditions in road construction."

Similar reasoning was expressed by the international design jury of the Automotive Brand Contest. The members found that the study "opens up new possibilities: total concentration on the intended task, with no compromises whatsoever. [...] The vehicle serves only one purpose: to compact the road surface. Here, HAMM is showing the freedoms that future design may be able to offer."

"With these design prizes, external independent professionals have affirmed that with our visions and concepts we are on the right track as a construction machine manufacturer. It takes us from today's machines with numerous assistance functions through semi-autonomous systems to fully autonomously operating rollers, such as we will probably use in future," says Dr. Axel Römer, Head of Research and Development at HAMM.

Accordingly, HAMM is already implementing the latest results from the research projects into the machine generation that will find its way onto construction sites in the early 2020s. Thus HAMM - in cooperation with product designers of course - is currently developing innovative cabs in which the driver's work is made even easier by assistance systems, while simultaneously increasing compaction quality.

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