Our client, a communications supplier approached us to design a series of padded canvas bags to act as protection to their sensitive mobile satellites used for providing communications to remote areas including sporting events and during times of disaster.
What was the purpose of the project?
When these satellites are mobile, they are split up into approximately 80 pieces and the client was not satisfied with their current form of transportation…wooden crates. Which not only made the transport of these satellite’s bulky, heavy and difficult to manoeuvre, it also wasn’t the ideal protection for their fragile components. So it was our mission to design a more practical method of protecting and transporting these components with custom canvas travel bags.
What did the client request?
The client requested a series of protective bags to allow the unassembled components of the satellite to fit into the back of a 4WD and also be able to be used as check in luggage on board an air craft.
What was the project designed made manufactured for?
The custom made canvas bags were manufactured to enable our client and their mobile satellites to safely reach more remote locations across Australia.
Where was it installed, Located, or used?
The work was measured off site and manufactured in our factory from drawings and measurements taken. All with the exception of the satellite dish which involved manufacturing a mould to ensure the curved satellite panels were supported evenly.
What was unique or complex about this project?
An unique opportunity arose as we had to learn how to assemble and dismantle the satellite to be able to determine the most efficient way to pack the satellite bags into the back of the 4WD. We needed to have an understanding of what parts went where and what they were referred to, so that the bags could be correctly labelled and constructed.
This project was quite complex due to the satellite being composed of many different parts in multiple size and shape. There were 50 different bags made up in total in 11 different designs. Some of which housed more than one component. This is also where the knowledge of assembling the satellite became a useful tool.
The most complex of the bags that we designed were the individual dish quarters as they had a concave curved shape that were not even quarters. In order for the bags to fit like a glove as well as protect the dish we had to make up moulds of the actual dish to work off.
The selection of padding material was unique as we had to choose something that was dense enough to protect the item but not too ridged that the bags had no give in them, potentially causing damage to surrounding items – such as the car interior and windows if they became dislodged whilst in transit.
Where there any particular challenges that you had to overcome?
The client requested a series of bags to house all of the components including painted quarters of the satellite dish, various bags for the powder coated stands, cables, receiver’s power supply units, computers tie down gear and more. The challenge was when designing the bags, all of these components had to be made as snug as possible to each item ensuring that the space of each bag was utilised as efficiently as possible and at the same time offering as much protection to the components.
The satellites dish broke down into four unequal quarters which had a challenging concave curve to it. In order to achieve the correct shape of the bag we had to make moulds up so we could shape the foam padding to enable the bag to house such a heavy item. To minimise space during transportation we were able to get two of the similar shaped quarters into each bag.
Another challenging task of the project was that once the bags were manufactured, they all had to fit perfectly in the back of a 4WD Nissan Patrol. We had to organise the bags in a ‘Tetris’ fashion to make sure that everything fit, whilst still keeping the items in some sort of logical order for quick and easy assembly.
Another important part of the design criteria was to make sure all the bags were within certain weight and size restrictions to ensure the bags could be used as checked in baggage aboard a commercial flight. This was all achieved by careful planning on commencement of production.
Was there anything different or special about the solution you proposed and then implemented?
Some innovative techniques were utilised in the production of some of these bags such as PVC storm water pipe. The pipe was fitted with a snug canvas cover used to keep items like aerials and fragile measuring instruments secure.
What were the results of the project?
We approached this job one bag at a time then tried to limit the amount of different size and styles of bags to make it more economical for the client and more efficient whilst in production. In the end there was 50 bags consisting of 11 different shapes, styles and sizes, all consisting of different material and components including two different grades of canvas, PVC fabric trimmings, foam, soft felt, thin plywood and PVC storm water pipe.
Our client is extremely happy that we were able to solve their mobile satellite transportation issue with a series of high quality padded canvas bags.
Remote destinations that were merely impossible for their satellite to reach in the past are now attainable due to the bags that we designed and manufactured for them. They have even had multiple successful trips to the Simpson Desert!