Optimization of aircargo containers: Design of a new door for an aircargo container:

by R.G. Das

Institution: Delft University of Technology
Year: 2015
Keywords: aircargo; container; ergonomical; prototyping
Record ID: 1252642
Full text PDF: http://resolver.tudelft.nl/uuid:37ae73dc-f236-4040-a915-6f0b7447cc11


The project started off with a design assignment from Zodiac Aerospace to develop a new door for an aircargo container. The current standard door is very time consuming in its handling and is not optimally ergonomic. The new door should be faster in use and provide a more efficient and ergonomic handling. Therefore, an analysis was done on the current handling of ULDs. As the interaction with luggage handlers and the container is important, this was examined in real context use by visiting an airport luggage handling area. Other aspects of containers were looked at such as regulation, certifications, competitors, trend and developments and stakeholders. Furthermore, a patent research was done on existing innovations of aircargo containers. At Zodiac’s workplace, two containers were assembled to get a better view of the containers on construction level. During this analysis current problems with the container were collected. An overview of all findings led to a more concrete assignment formulation and to a list of requirements for the new door. A brainstorm session was done with some of Zodiac’s employees. This input and other individual brainstorming led to 8 idea directions. From these 8, 3 were chosen to continue with: Slap Door - a fabric door with bi-stable composite strips, enabling automatic rolling up Folding Door - a door consisting of 3 panels, foldable to the side of the container Reinforced Folding Door - a fabric door with an integrated frame enabling faster and easier storage of the door. Several sample containers were available at Zodiac’s workplace and were used during the ideation phase to verify and simulate the solutions with full-sized products. These prototypes and further detailing showed what concept had the most potential to further develop. The Folding Door was chosen to continue with because of its advantage in use and for being able to compete with the current door on weight and costs. Further detailing was done on all aspects of this concept. Then a new prototype was built which could be used for user test. A user test was done and then improvements were proposed leading to an enhanced design. Furthermore, estimations were done on weight and costs demonstrating that this design comes very close to the weight and price of the current standard door while cutting the handling time in half.