A challenging 'case' for defence: F16 maintenance kit

The Royal Netherlands Air Force

A practical case, as compact and light as possible, dirt-repellent, able to take a beating and dust- and waterproof. These were the requirements that the Royal Netherlands Air Force set for a new case for their F16 maintenance tools. Of course, we were also challenged to think of other functionalities that would surpass the properties of their old case. The result? A robust case that meets all the requirements of the F16 mechanics. But how exactly did this process go within Faes, from demand to physical product?

What was used

Application and wishes of the Royal Netherlands Air Force

Faes was asked to develop a case for Defence, to transport maintenance tools and spare parts for the F16s easily and safely. This DMC kit, which includes calibration tools, had to be used directly ‘in the field’. You can probably imagine that there were quite a few requirements for the case. For example:

  • The case had to be easy to clean (and keep clean), for example after use on a muddy surface or in bad weather.
  • Quick and easy to pack and unpack, so it had to be immediately clear which place a particular component had in the case.
  • The contents had to be stored in the most structured and compact way possible.
  • Additional space in the case for storing additional material or components.
  • Easily and recognisably stored on ‘the shelves’.

The DMC kit: from idea to design

As soon as our packaging expert Jeffry had mapped out all the requirements, he took the old (heavy) steel case to our business office; the engineering department. Here, product engineer Luuk Gijsbers neatly measured all the recesses in the interior using the most advanced measuring techniques and, based on these measurements, designed a new interior with an optimal layout. He also actively listened to the client’s other wishes and created a case design based on these functionalities. As a first step in the design process Luuk made a sketch with an accompanying calculation. After approval of the customer, he converted the sketch into a spatial design using our 3D CAD program.

The functionalities of the DMC maintenance box

  • We chose a sturdy, high-quality case that can definitely take a beating.
  • The case interior is equipped with two foam trays, which fit into the case in any order. They can be easily removed by means of two sturdy straps.
  • The interior foam in the trunk has been “laminated” so that sand, mud and other dirt can be easily removed.
  • The foam is made up of two layers, a blue bottom layer and a black top layer (provided with an attractive carbon foil). Next, the shapes are milled out, so that the bottom of the recesses turns blue. In this way, the mechanic can see at a glance whether any parts are missing and where they should be stored.
  • When the lid is opened, a packing instruction can be seen, with a numbered parts list. A hinge makes it easy to swing open, giving the mechanic access to extra space in the lid (with ‘member organiser’), which is well used in this way.
  • Finally, the case is provided with the print: DMC Kit, which is placed near the handle, among other things. In this way, the set can be quickly and easily recognised on the shelf of a warehouse or workshop.

 From design to product

After we presented the 3D design to the customer, and they approved the production, any missing materials and parts could be ordered, such as metal parts, bolts, nuts and hinges. The order was then scheduled for production.

For this project, we drew on all our knowledge, experience, creativity and empathy. It shows that optimum cooperation between our consultants, engineers and production is essential.

Are you curious to know what we can do for you?

Do you also have a complex issue, or do you need a case that has to meet various requirements? Our advisers will be happy to help. Please contact us for an introductory meeting.

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