Morphing the Future
Still is a world leader in the production of forklift and pallet trucks. Carrying the slogan “The future is no secret to us,” Still has continued to look forward to find inspiration for its flourishing fleet. The new cubeXX, designed for busy warehouses and created by TEAMS is shaking up intralogistics.
Looking to the Future for Inspiration
In 1998, TEAMS had constructed a concept car for Still, which had served as lasting inspiration for the cubeXX. The model was a huge success, drawing in curious crowds who traveled long distances to see the new concept.
Because TEAMS shares a 25 year relationship with Still, the dynamic partnership fueled a great deal of trust and an open floor for communication. Reinhard Renner, director of TEAMS and the initiator of the project pushed Still in 2011 to come up with another ground-breaking model, this time looking even further into the future than ever before.
Continuing on that innovative path, we set out on a creative task alongside Still – imagining what the future might look like. What kind of machines will be most useful to the future of logistics?
Beginning in 2011, we started our first series of workshops with Still. Not only were major trends discussed, but also relevant development in the area of logistics. In reviewing trends, we saw population concentration, energy efficiency, and post-industrialism as factors that would keep warehouses increasingly busy and on the lookout for new solutions. Knowing that automation would also play a key role in the “Industry 4.0,” our ideas quickly took shape.
“To kick-off the project, we worked closely with Still to see how the brand could focus on the future – while still aligning with projected market needs. Brainstorms led to discussions about visionary design – followed by the question as to how we could take these designs and mold them into real-life.” Reinhard Renner, TEAMS managing partner
The final concept had everyone on the same page: the product’s novelty would need to be visually manifested in a design that clearly demonstrated Still’s high-tech positioning. This is when Renner, after a long day of meetings suggested openly, “Why can’t we come up with a hovering cube – something completely different than anything we’ve seen before?”
A Long History Builds Trust
Sharing a long history built on trust and collaborative teamwork, TEAMS took the lead on moving the project forward. The great push forward paid off. In the end, both sides shared a bigger success that no one could have predicted from the start.
Ulrich Schweig, director of TEAMS Hamburg hinted to the project’s success factor, “Because we had built so much trust with the brand in our long partnership, they allowed us to take the project and bring it to finish, without hesitation or worry about failure,” said Schweig.
cubeXX GOES LIVE
The design represents the ultimate in all-in-one efficiency. With features like a retractable driver's cabin and moving counterbalances, the cubeXX morphs itself into six configurations to accomplish the specialized tasks of six different industrial vehicles. By using only one adaptable vehicle, the warehouse runs more efficiently and eliminates the extra overhead of vehicles that often go unused.
“Automation is a major trend right now,” commented Schweig. “Devices that can operate by themselves are what we can expect in the future” The cubeXX can operate both manually and automatically, easing processes and offering more flexibility than ever before,” added Schweig.
That dual ability is another key feature. In its automated mode, the canopy retracts, creating the minimal, cube-shaped form. In its manned mode, the cab extends up and offers the driver a fully enclosed and tech-savvy workplace.
The Rolls Royce of the Warehouse
A regular hit at trade shows, the cubeXX has been an attention grabber both in person via a functional prototype and on social media.
“The attention has been huge,” said Schweig. “Maybe because it offers us a real glimpse of what the future might look like – for many people, it is hard to comprehend but also very fascinating.”
In launching such a futuristic design for Still, we are sure our relationship, 25 years ongoing – will go far into the future – hopefully even when the robots have taken over.
"In launching such a futuristic design for Still, we are sure our relationship, 25 years ongoing – will go far into the future – hopefully even when the robots have taken over." Ulrich Schweig, director TEAMS Hamburg