Renault Kangoo

Functional and Comfortable

The new Renault Kangoo
Bertrandt also enjoys a good reputation in France due to its high level of expertise. For this reason, the development service provider was chosen by Renault as a competence partner to supply components for the new Kangoo and to develop and provide series support for vehicle derivatives in the functional area of seals and glazing.

Experienced partner for a modern car
When the Renault Kangoo was launched ten years ago, it signified a revolution in the van segment. As an innovative “Fun Utility Vehicle”, the car not only offered exceptional variability but also featured a practical space concept with a high utility value. But above all, the special feature of the Kangoo was its design concept: at extremely attractive prices, it could be ordered in many different configurations, including – for the first time in this vehicle segment – with a side sliding door.

The new Kangoo is even more practical and more comfortable than its predecessor. It combines the functionality of a small van with the comfort of a car. Within the framework of a project order, Bertrandt proved to be a highly experienced partner in the development of the door equipment.

Great responsibility - good solutions
The project covered three different scopes in the area of door development. For the seals/glazing and door mechanics components, Bertrandt was responsible for project management, supplier support and design. Furthermore, the team was responsible to Renault’s project management for complying with the quality, cost and scheduling requirements. The third functional area included the door architecture, which involved embedding these components into the overall architecture of the vehicle (dimensioning and environment). The main task of the project leader was to manage and coordinate the various development departments such as body-in-white or trim. The aim was to achieve a harmonious whole on the basis of the requirement specifications and process specifications.

The special requirements for this vehicle type with regard to costs, versions and cycle time were among the challenges mastered by the Bertrandt team.

Demanding requirements
As an all-rounder, the Kangoo comes in a variety of different versions: without, with one or with two sliding doors, optionally with folding or retractable windows, as a small van with twin rear doors or with a rear tailgate.

As a result, the Bertrandt developers had to consider various window, seal and locking versions – including a number of special versions in the passenger car segment such as twin rear doors or side sliding doors.

At the MCA Maubeuge assembly plant on the Belgian border, the two generations of the Renault Kangoo were produced on a single assembly line until July 2008. Therefore, variant management, the amount of space available along the line and the simplification of the processes were already to be included in the design concept and implemented at start of production.

The Function Development Group
The Function Development Group is a unit that is responsible for the development and implementation of a given functional area or project scope. It consists of a team leader, various sub-project leaders and designers.

Their responsibilities:

  • Developing a release plan
  • Securing and complying with legal regulations and standards
  • Follow-up for quality, cost and scheduling specifications
  • Development of a quality management plan for the project and the process
  • Follow-up for the design and further development of parts on the basis of the requirement specifications
  • Alignment of requirement specifications with quality, cost and scheduling specifications as well as the submission of improvement potentials
  • Regular reporting on the achievement of targets to the project manager

Bertrandt meets expectations

The project leader for the overall architecture was required to develop technical definitions that meet the quality, cost and performance objectives in accordance with the overall objectives of the customer. By direct integration into the customer structures, Bertrandt was able to immediately adopt, supplement and bring together the requirements of the function, process and performance experts. This enabled them to achieve good solutions that met all expectations.

The project phases in detail
The beginning of the assignment was the start of production for the vehicle at the assembly plant. Accordingly, Bertrandt supported the series launch, ensured follow-up for the releases by customers and suppliers and implemented the customer’s QM plan. In spite of the short learning period, the Bertrandt team was continuously present at the customer’s design office as well as in the factory and at the suppliers, and, due to its great commitment, was able to fulfil the customer’s requirements within the given schedule.

With the market launch of the vehicle, the range of responsibilities was extended by the addition of a further task. In cooperation with Renault, the Bertrandt developers initiated a continuous improvement process in order to adapt the manufacturing process to the constantly expanding product range and to optimise costs. In discussions on competition analysis and supplier audits as well as technical discussions on the various function areas, the engineers and technicians were able to contribute numerous analyses and proposals for further developments in cooperation with the teams from Renault.

In accordance with the specifications to ensure the widest possible product range and the best possible quality, the start of production for the different vehicle types took place in different batches. In this case, the task lay in the parallel further development of series production and the successive start of production of the various derivatives. Here too, Bertrandt was able to fulfil the requirements in cooperation with Renault’s utility vehicle subsidiary IDVU.

Success along the line
Project management and execution under their own responsibility, the integration of several competence centres, implementation at the Bièvres plant and compliance with contractually agreed targets were among the tasks that the Bertrandt team mastered with extreme competence.

In this highly demanding project, the engineers and technicians successfully showed their project management skills and technical expertise, thus demonstrating the wide range of services provided by the engineering service provider in module and body development.