bott Smartvan van racking wins the Red Dot Award for Product Design

The Red Dot Design Awards are one of the world's largest design contests, celebrating best-in-class design and innovation. Held each year, entrants compete in three categories: Product Design, Brands & Communications Design and Design Concept. Entering the former, we knew we'd be pitted against stiff competition. However, with innovation at the heart of everything we do at bott Smartvan, we wanted to highlight the combined features which give our solutions the edge. And we emerged victorious! Read on to find out more about our entry, why our van racking stood out to the judging committee and what happens next.

Why we entered bott modulo3

Our latest van racking system, bott modulo3, is a self-fit van racking solution. Designed for tradespeople, it's built with simple construction and adaptability in mind. Each frame arrives with a van-specific assembly pack, containing a step-by-step guide for fitting into the vehicle.

Further, it's a no-drill system, which makes us unique from our competitors. The racking can be fitted to the van's existing manufacturer fixing points. The frame mounted brackets ensure this no-drill solution is secure no matter what. This is especially important for EV's, where safety is paramount.

The modular nature of this system is a key reason why customers choose bott Smartvan over other racking providers. Not only can parts be configured based on preference, but each frame is compatible between vans of the same size. They are also designed to fit around the van's side profiles, which ensures maximum central loading space.

bott modulo3 can also be adapted alongside the customer's career. It is fully customisable, giving customers the freedom to adapt the van racking to suit the tools and equipment stored within the van. The expansive range of frame accessories can be seamlessly repositioned when needed, or swapped for new ones entirely.

Lastly, our van racking is thoroughly crash tested. We have always placed safety firmly at the head of design and production. As such, bott modulo3 is crash tested to ECE R17 standards, which simulates the collision of the vehicle with an obstacle at 50km/h.

Discover our award-winning entry

You can find the results here, including our entry. And if you're the curious type, there are lots more interesting, innovative and exciting projects and products to investigate. We're in great company.

Our R&D Manager, Simon Dunkinson, has over 15 years of experience in designing van racking. Having seen all three generations pass through the factory door from concept to production, he gives us his insight:

"We're very proud of our latest generation product. A lot of thought was put into its design, functionality and the overall fitting and user experience.

The project had many challenges from designing the key system parts such as adjustable position shelves, integrating the new generation Systainer3 cases and various accessories which make efficient use of the normally wasted space at the sides of the van, to designing and testing vehicle specific mounting brackets.

As vans differ so much to each other internally, rather than use universal brackets that require drilling and are difficult to fit and risk causing permanent damage to the vehicle, we chose instead to develop vehicle specific brackets that pick up off of existing mounting points in the vehicle. This meant extensive prototyping and test fitting was needed to ensure the brackets fitted correctly and provided safe and secure anchor points for the modulo3 frames and accessories. We also introduced laser cut part numbers into the brackets to support part identification for the customer during installation.

Together with creating simple step-by-step fitting instructions these features help simplify the fitting process and reduce installation time.

The project was also a great collaboration between various teams making use of a multitude of skills and knowledge across the bott group. The highlight of the project was seeing the first customer installations and positive feedback and also recently winning a design award at the prestigious Red Dot Design Awards!"

And the innovation doesn't stop there...

We're always pushing forward at bott, led by new technologies, use-cases and design conception. On this note, we're expanding our van racking accessory range to suit new and existing accessories. If you're an early adopter, you'll be interested to learn that the following are on their way:

  • A new Bulkhead Module designed for strapping larger items for both ease of access and security
  • And new Board Storage Brackets to support the secure storage of play and plasterboard to the frames of your racking.

Keep your eyes peeled!

And we'll be expanding into new markets too, as demand for bott Smartvan van racking in other territories continues to grow. This will involve brand new designs to match international market regulations, as well as specific makes and models of van.

To design your own solution, navigate to our van racking configurator. Here, you'll be able to select the specific make and model of your van, and create your personalised system that best suits your trade.