Innovia 300 for Bombardier

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Make it look fast!
Bombardier wanted a few things from the new design; a larger front windscreen, updated styling, and a look that communicated speed. That being said, the goal was to communicate "speed" for a commuter train that travels around 90kmph, not a 320kmph TGV, but a faster look than that of the ART Mark III's predecessors nonetheless.

Anything that is successful, and stands the test of time, requires a solid foundation. For us to create concepts that meet objectives, we start with the groundwork of a project definition. The project definition process establishes a target so we can aim our concepts in the best direction. It was during this discovery exercise that we learned of opportunities for innovation in manufacturing and assembly that were not initially seen as part of the mandate to "style" the front end.

At Advanta, we have a deep reservoir of experience and understanding of many production technologies. We have a passion for creating designs that are compelling to look at, and that make life more efficient for the manufacturing floor. This perspective permits us to see design opportunities beyond the look and feel.

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Honoring a legacy
The ART has two previous generations of trains operating around the world every day. Kuala Lumpur, Beijing, JFK Airport, Vancouver, and others have a visual variation of the theme.

Our task was to create a design that advanced the look while respecting this visual "DNA" from the past.


Tape Drawing - Full Scale
Sometimes hands are better than computers
When designing an object as big as a train it is important to quickly understand the actual size of the object. A design feature may look great on a small sketch, but can become impractical, or not visually compelling in full-scale. Developing full-scale initial drawings was an essential part of the development; quick sketch models, front views, and even a partial section of the train car helped us understand proportions and component placement.

Concepts were refined in full-size with wall mounted drawings made with tape. This process helped to refine size and proportions in a context that makes for much better evaluation of the design.

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"The concept is so flexible that the same base can be easily customized for each of Bombardier's clients."
Kent Davidson - Design Director

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A solution for a decade's long problem
During the project definition phase, we became aware of a significant fit and tolerance issue. Advanta was able to see the problem from a different angle and provide a solution that made these fit and tolerance issues go away. As consulting designers, we are able to bring a fresh perspective to design problems, and thus propose simple, yet not obvious solutions. We call it "intelligent ignorance".

The "intelligence" in this saying means we bring our many years of experience creating product designs, and our philosophy that a solid solution is as much a pragmatic technical one as it is a beautiful visual one.

The "ignorance" part of the saying means that we don't know everything about our client's businesses. They are the experts; however, sometimes like the little boy who said the "Emperor had no clothes", we don't have any pre-conceptions about how things "should" be done. This freedom can lead to seeing new opportunities for innovation.


Size matters!
Comprehending the ergonomic issues, sightlines, and how a design will feel requires full-scale models.  Because this train’s windshield was so big compared to previous versions, we built quick foam core models to understand the feel for this design from the interior. This also helped us understand clearances and to get a sense of the actual size of details such as the headlights and front fiberglass parts. We also built a full-scale replica of the train structure itself.  There is no better way to fully appreciate the context of a design, find opportunities to create something new, and design a cohesive solution than to be able to actually walk in it, to touch it and feel it.

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"There is nothing like working full scale, you can't fool yourself... or anybody else for that matter!"

Vincent Hamelin - Product Designer

So many benefits brought through design
• Shorter initial installations
• Installation fit and tolerance problems – gone
• Component service & repair; much, much faster
• A base model that can be visually customized for each transit customer (An industry innovation!)
• Great Lamp Service & Repair - Unparalleled Access
• Side View – Streamlined, "speedy" visual


"For transit authorities, downtime is a costly enemy. Repairs to components from our end-Caps, take minutes; not days. It's a little revolution."
André Huard - Product Designer

A good investment

We take the time to prototype each sub-systems prior to the production. Doing this upfront work has insured that the production parts were bang on the very first time.

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We delivered
As per our original agreement with Bombardier's, we developed the design, selected vendors, had parts produced and assembled, qualified and tested the parts, and finally delivered the completed units to Bombardier. The results, in Bombardier's own words; "We've never seen first article End-Cap units fit together that well – ever!


"Getting rid of costly fit & tolerance issues, by simplifying the installation sequence; this was our greatest achievement."
Patrick Boutet - Project Lead

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"It was very satisfying to be able to deliver a complete, large-scale prototype assembly that fit with the train assembly with no modifications required."
Patrick Boutet - Project Lead

Delivering a design, and finished units
A complete turn-key solution – from design to full-size test units

For all of our clients, we are always willing to push the envelope, going above and beyond to ensure that they are looked after. With Bombardier, Advanta functioned as a complete design and procurement unit for them. We finalized and managed the fabrication of the first two full-size prototype units. To accomplish this, we worked with their project management team, their certification specialists, and their engineering stress analysis group. Advanta ensured design details were complete, and that every component, part and fastener was ordered and delivered. For off-the-shelf components, Advanta managed procurement. For all custom parts, we coordinated design, tooling procurement, and fabrication and testing. We also managed delivery of all the parts to the Bombardier testing facility. These newly designed end-cap full-size units are now attached to actual trains whizzing around the test track

Because we had designed the end cap on the computer, in effect creating a virtual prototype before building any actual parts, all of the sub-systems and custom parts from various vendors fit together beautifully.


Trusted for production quality
We are not manufacturers ourselves but we've been around long enough to be able to forge alliances with the best.

Bombardier trusted us with every aspect of production; we lined up vendors, coordinated production and smoothed out every bump on the road. Our service was complete from design to units delivered to their door. According to Bombardier, these first End Caps where so good that they couldn't be compared with anything they had seen before

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