The Renault Master was one of the most complete projects on which we have worked, a truly unique challenge which enabled us to create new methods of design and of approach to production.
In 2006 Renault asked us to collaborate on a new version of their commercial vehicle which was expected to be in production until 2024 at steady volumes.
It was a built2print assignment: The project was developed together with Renault and Baomarc brought its know-how and its equipment to realize the underbody and body structures and as well as the sliding side door system.
The customer’s request was for a low-cost vehicle with a long life and high performance in terms of structure and consumption. It also had to be light in weight to let the user transport bigger loads. Further, it was a vehicle model with a large number of variations both in the initial launch and later in response to the market’s demands.
With all these parameters to satisfy, we devised an innovative approach for production, thinking in terms of a space frame concept and working the material using the profiling process.
It was, in fact, with this project that the idea of the spaceframe was born, applied to the lower chassis and to the body: to produce and assemble all the components at a single plant, so as to deliver to the customer a complete chassis ready for subsequent phases of vehicle assembly.
For the metalworking we chose profiling. Traditionally the raw material was pressed, a process offering very limited modularity, and requiring high investment and a large amount of space for production. With our approach it was possible to use the same machine for all versions of the components merely changing the tooling.
This required minimal investment, provided high modularity, made it possible to use steel with very good mechanical properties and , finally, allowed the reduction of material thicknesses compared to traditional configurations, creating lighter components.
For this project an ad hoc plant was constructed near the Renault production plant, minimizing the inventory area and assuring for the customer the just in time delivery of the components.