And suddenly we´re right in the middle of it. In the concept phase of TWIKE 5. Although all the components had somehow already existed before, and we had looked at each part three times from all sides. Now it is necessary, taking into account all the specifications from the previous definition phase, to specify all the components again, give them their final names, assign them a clear space in the CAD system, and at the same time consistently ensure that they can be manufactured and assembled in a more closely timed series. At the end of this phase, both the total weight and the centre of gravity position of the entire vehicle will have been confirmed. The resulting frame structure is already sufficiently meshed at this point in time to carry out initial strength tests with a relevant CAE system.
The concept phase is feared on the one hand because subsequent change requests are hardly possible. Supposedly small changes could result in time-consuming and cost-intensive loops and set us far behind schedule. Therefore, in the concept phase, every decision for a component, its positioning or even the determination of the manufacturing method must be weighed up with sufficient foresight.
However, the concept phase is also a rewarding phase because the "concept freeze" at the end of this phase provides the necessary certainty and clarity for the following work packages. The processing of the so-called LOP (list of open points) is not very exciting from the customer's point of view, since it usually involves the comparison of material and spatial data, the positioning of components, the definition of connection types or sealing surfaces.
The fact that we are making progress here with a high degree of development reliability and the corresponding manpower is largely due to the cooperation with the two experienced automotive service providers EDAG from Fulda in Hesse and the well-known automotive developer VALMET Automotive. Both set us a tightly timed time frame and the strict consideration of all solutions through the "serial glasses". The required higher series production capability leads to all necessary process steps being run through again (hence concept phase reloaded). However, the cooperation brings exactly the quality into the TWIKE 5, which will sustainably ensure an impressive driving experience for their pilots.
Updates will follow.