Stiga was founded in Tranås 1934 and has always worked with consumer-driven innovation. Since the mid-1980’s, Stiga has been one of Europe’s largest manufacturers of lawn mowers, and in 2000 it merged with two market-leading Italian companies to form Global Garden Products (GGP). The company’s Swedish offices contacted Prodelox a couple of years ago regarding a challenging product development project.
GGP wanted help developing a new, somewhat simpler version of a riding mower for home use and the consumer market. The goal was to create a model that was cost-effective to produce and at the same time met the brand’s quality requirements. It was also very important that the product fit in well with the company’s existing production line.
Prodelox was happy to take on the project, which involved everything from the mechanical design of the model’s frame to finding creative and functional solutions for the driver, such as the brakes, steering wheel, and controls. The project was carried out in close collaboration with the company’s own development department in Tranås and involved problem solving in such areas as mechanical design and material strength. A large number of material strength tests were also performed.
“Stiga’s brand is known for its high quality, and the challenge was to produce a cost-effective product that retained that quality,” says Fredirk Andersson, project leader from Prodelox. “It was really inspiring to be able to work with their employees, since some of them had been working with lawn mowers all their life. We from Prodelox contributed with creativity and new thinking, so we were able to form a great team.
“The model we designed was meant for large-scale manufacturing, which we needed to keep in mind in the development process. So it was really helpful that the production line and competence were on site in Tranås, since we could check with them often and confirm we were on the right track,” says Fredrik.
After a few months’ work, Prodelox finished the more creative part of the project and GGP took over, adapting the production system. The result was a high-quality riding mower meant for the consumer market that could be serially manufactured in the existing production line. It turned out that this would be the last model of the company’s riding mowers designed and manufactured in Sweden.