Factory Design has created an innovative airline trolley using Hybrix, a lightweight, ultra-thin steel material developed by Volvo spin-off company Lamera.
The consultancy is close to signing up a European manu- facturing partner for the product, which will offer airline operators a lighter alternative to the standard trolley.
Hybrix also allows for a design that is more complementary to contemporary cabin interiors, according to Factory Design director Peter Tennent. ‘There is a lot of money being spent on cabin interiors and seat design, but the trolley is a much- neglected animal. It’s considered a back-of-house product, but gets wheeled throughout the cabin. Customers are used to having beautifully designed products all around them, so if this battered old trolley comes out, it’s no good,’ says Tennent.
With a core that is 90 per cent constituted from air, Hybrix is being marketed as ‘formable, stronger than steel and lighter than aluminium’. ‘The material allows us to break away from the prevailing [trolley] design to produce a smooth and frameless product with rounded corners and custom embossing,’ explains Factory Design director Adam White.
The product is a ‘self-generated’ project for Factory Design and the group is now in discussion with an unnamed company to manufacture the trolleys.
According to Tennent, this potential partner may either buy the intellectual property for the design outright and invest in the consultancy to bring it to market, or it may part-invest, with Factory retaining some ownership of the idea.