The involvement of customers in its design process has been crucial to the success of the NR-N2 reach truck in this year's Red Dot Awards, according to Cat® Lift Trucks.
Shaped by user experience
User-driven design scores another Red Dot Award win for Cat® Lift Trucks
Around 20 companies in Europe were visited by the Cat® Lift Trucks
R&D team as part of a thorough user study that helped shape the truck and its performance. In making their decision, the 41 distinguished Red Dot Product Design Award judges were impressed by innovative features like the Responsive Drive System (RDS) which enhanced the user experience.
A record-breaking 5,214 products from 57 countries were assessed on site by the judging panel, in Germany, before the winners were announced. Along with design quality, they looked at aspects including innovation, functionality and environmental friendliness.
Reflecting on the Cat® reach truck's
award success, Design Manager Kero Uusitalo says: "The science of user experience - the way a user feels about using a product or system - is at the heart of our research and development work. Our process ensures that anyone trying our finished product for the first time is amazed at how good it is to drive and handle."
Adapting to needs and wishes
This is the fifth Red Dot Award for the successful Cat Lift Trucks.
Mr Uusitalo continues, "Users have especially praised the way our reach truck adapts to the operator's needs and wishes. Through its RDS technology the truck can sense whether the driver is a newcomer or a highly skilled professional with long experience, and can tell how he or she wants the truck to behave at any moment. RDS constantly adjusts the performance mode accordingly."
He adds, "The result is that all travel and load handling movement is very smooth, safe and controlled, including starts and stops. A related feature of the NR-N2 is its advanced intelligent curve control which, when cornering, slows the truck down in a way that feels very natural and comfortable, with no sensation of tilting or sudden change."
Pioneers in human-centred design
Cat® Lift Trucks is one of the largest manufacturers of materials handling products in the world.
This is the fifth Red Dot Award for the successful R&D department, based at the Cat Lift Trucks production facility in Järvenpää, Finland.
"Our record owes much to our pioneering work in human-centred design and our use of advanced methods for understanding and measuring user experience,"
Kero Uusitalo explains.
"In the last few years it has been helped by our participation in the UXUS (User Experience and Usability in complex Systems) programme run by researchers at FIMECC (Finnish Metals and Engineering Competence Cluster) and partly funded by Finland's government. Working with experts at the forefront of this field, we have demonstrated the power of user experience to differentiate products and make businesses more competitive."
For further information on Cat® lift trucks and warehouse equipment, please visit www.catlifttruck.com.
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Monica Escutia, Manager Marketing Communications:
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