The client is a well-known supplier of automotive aftermarket seatbelts and restraints. The client’s own engineers had already designed and type-approved a new type of locking retractor mechanism. The existing product range also included a buckle and leash attachment. New legislation requiring passengers in coaches and operators of moving vehicles to wear seatbelts, had created a significant market for retro-fit seatbelts.
The brief was split into four parts. The first was to design a compact and anti-snag enclosure for the retractor mechanism which was tamper resistant but easily replaced if vandalised. The second was to design an extendible cover for the buckle and leash assembly. The third was to design an ergonomic grip to fit over the existing webbing buckle. The fourth was to improve the ergonomics of the buckle release button.
The client supplied 2D drawings and parts. Each component was converted to 3D CAD using reverse engineering techniques. A significant amount of time was spent in liaison with the client’s production staff to ensure materials and methods used were compatible with the client’s in house manufacturing abilities. The client was presented with a series of concept design visuals exploring product build, ergonomics and external styling. The components were finalised and 3D CAD data issued.