Mechanical Engineering > Case
Combined bike seat and stroller for Påhoj
Hans Andersson is a machine engineer who started his journey at ESSIQ as project manager for the startup Påhoj, and their first product: a combined bike seat and stroller. Hans is essentially a calculation engineer and isn’t afraid to test out something new and exciting like this startup, which is teeming with both challenges and opportunities.
Doing something that no-one has done before is very interesting. Of course, bike seats exist, and of course strollers exist, but there is currently no combined version of the two on the market. And that wasn’t enough – as a startup, Påhoj lacked the capital of larger companies required in order to develop its product. With its unique design and an industry designer as its founder, the aim was to create a product with an appealing design, that could cope with all standard testing in its category, but without costing more than a premium-priced bike seat. Clearly, this was quite the challenge!
It was quickly established that the previous design work was not up to scratch. This led to the project manager role increasingly becoming about pure design work, as product knowledge became vital, alongside Hans’ eagerness to learn more about design work. The project was largely implemented in-house at ESSIQ Syd’s offices in Malmö.
In order to bring everything together, and in addition to everyday office work, a significant amount of physical work was also required to complete prototypes for both display and testing. To assist in the testing of parts for the project, Hans had access to the office 3D printer, allowing him to very quickly get feedback on how the new concept worked.
During the project, Hans also took part in a trade fair in Hong Kong to showcase the product alongside other technology companies with new innovations. A number of different suppliers were also involved for consultation during the project, as well as Hans having had a lot of contact with prototype suppliers to be able to user-test the product and certify it against the standards. The complexity of the different work tasks made the role even more varied and multifaceted.
Over the course of the project, Hans gained a significant amount of knowledge on project management of a startup, and also improved his knowledge of working with plastics. Learning the basics of advanced surface modeling, where design is critical, but reproducibility is key, has meant that Hans has become an even more knowledgeable engineer. The difficulty in creating a sustainable and attractive product with smaller funds than usual made the project challenging, but also educational. Being able to implement large parts of the project in-house allowed Hans the chance to socially and professionally network with managers and colleagues, who in turn had the opportunity to follow the project in close detail.
Info about the project
Project timescale: November 2016 – May 2017
Project Manager Mechanics