Bosch's breakthrough PowerBox 360
In addition to pumping tunes and powering up tools, this radio would need to survive storms, spills, debris, and most importantly drops. While its predecessor debuted the protective roll-cage concept, it didn't help dampen the impact from a drop. The innovative solution to this was to suspend the inner assembly via a flexible connection to the exoskeletal frame, thus isolating it from any shocks caused by impact.
Collaborating with the talented Bosch engineers the team found the exact angle and rigidity of the connectors through Pro/E modeling, FEA testing and plenty of prototypes. But the final specs could only be honed down once the parts were made in the correct materials, and then dropped in front of a high-speed camera.
The powerbox sits proudly in the middle of a job site, with contractors moving all around. So it made sense to have the sound project in all directions, hence the '360' in the name. So the next challenge was to find space for all of the components while avoiding physical and electrical interference. Once again mockups helped, and we were able to assemble the internal components in such a way that kept the shape as compact as possible. Interestingly the chamfered upper corner speakers helped eliminate damage-prone corners and add strength to the overall structure.
The resulting design is not only durable looking but also withstands an incredible amount of force. While Bosch's tests were drops onto concrete and down stairs, Bosch enthusiasts took the bar even higher creating viral videos of the radio surviving beatings with baseball bats and even being launched with a trebuchet. Bosch even made a feature of this aspect at trade shows and in their road show, where users were able to throw the radio against a wall, and then do the same to an unfortunate competitor.
The Powerbox 360 has reached a much wider audience than tools alone can do and has become a showcase for the durability and quality craftsmanship inherent in Bosch's products.