As a global defence, aerospace, security and commercial avionics and power management company operating within key markets, BAE Systems employs in excess of 88,000 people and works with more than 25,000 suppliers around the world. Within this framework, BAE Systems in the UK relied on Ogle Models & Prototypes to fulfil a tight deadline for producing a high spec, interactive, exhibition model that was to highlight the company’s HybriDrive® Series propulsion systems to bus manufactures and operators at a large show in Geneva.

In practical terms, the model of the bus had to be sectioned to show the main HybriDrive® propulsion system parts, which included a generator that was mounted to a diesel engine; an electric drive motor; a battery; and the main control unit and wheels. The key to this model was to ensure it conveyed the message ‘we make the hybrid system, not the bus.’ In terms of functionality, the main units had to be linked with flashing LED pathways terminating with LED pathways to the wheels to show the four main operating conditions of the system.

From the earliest concept stages, Ogle worked closely with BAE Systems and regular and inclusive client updates were fundamental to the early design phase. Early on, Ogle brought in trusted partners to collaborate on the design and electronic component elements of this model. As with many projects of this nature, when manufacturing got underway at Ogle time was tight. But the model making experts at Ogle excel under a deadline. In terms of production, the full breadth and depth of Ogle’s expertise was brought to bear on the project. With a range of technologies and processes in-house Ogle is always able to apply the most appropriate to the project at hand.

For BAE Systems’ model, this meant using a spectrum of processes — the main body shell of the bus was CNC machined from polyurethane model board while the bespoke LED pathways and main HybriDrive system components, which were complex in nature, were 3D printed using the highly accurate Stereolithograpy process. In addition Perspex was machined for the windows, the seating elements were CNC machined and the grab rails, wheels and other detailed additions were then made by hand. All individual components were finished and painted to the client’s exact specifications and assembled and mounted on a customised plinth.

The LED light lines, complete with wiring looms and controls were then carefully fitted to the model. It worked perfectly and was delivered to a delighted client, in time for the Swiss Exhibition. Feedback from Di Francis at BAE Systems included referencing the company’s confidence in Ogle to understand the brief and deliver. She also stated outright that the outcome was: “One happy, delighted customer. The model exceeded our expectations. The project throughout was a delight to be involved with, Ogle delivered on-time and on-budget. The one thing that really made them stand out was the level of detail to ensure we had exactly what we required and driving the project to ensure it was completed on-time. We would certainly recommend Ogle.”