Best in Class: The MSG65/75 Success Story19.10.2016
It takes innovative technology to ensure a comfortable, ergonomic workplace for turf equipment operators. And with over a million units sold so far, the MSG65/75 seat family is one of the Grammer Group’s most successful seat series. Today, market and technology leader Grammer continues to set new standards of suspension performance, comfort, safety, and design in innovative premium seats for turf equipment, forklift trucks, and compact construction machines.
The MSG65/75 is the world’s very first compact seat with an ultra-low-profile pneumatic suspension. The basic principle underlying these seats is modularity: they combine a S500 series seat top with a cushion between 15.7 and 18.5 in. wide with either a very low-profile MSG65 mechanical suspension or a MSG75 pneumatic suspension. This yields a new level of performance, because both suspension systems attenuate vibrations considerably more effectively than any other suspension available so far in the market. Due to the seats’ high degree of modularity and compact design, they can be used in a variety of vehicles that have only limited space in the cab, thus also enabling outstanding sitting comfort in cramped conditions. Being highly robust, however, they are suited for professional landscaping and turf care equipment and compact construction machines such as skid-steer loaders and mini-excavators. And they are typically installed in counterbalance and reach-type forklift trucks.
The Result of User Studies: "Design for Use"
One of the principal drivers of the MSG65/75 seat family’s success is Grammer’s consistent application of its “Design for Use” philosophy. This is a formula for making it as easy as possible for users to use a seat: namely, with controls that are arranged and shaped in ways that are intuitively grasped and understood. The seat is then practically self-explanatory: the user can quickly and easily adjust it to suit his or her individual body and requirements without having to consult a manual. This is especially important when vehicles are regularly used by multiple operators.
At Grammer, product development involves taking account of both research and actual use. To accomplish this, first it’s essential to have a system in place for effectively acquiring knowledge. The insights that Grammer gains from working closely with scientists and carrying out targeted user input studies are channeled into the development process. Then, of course, the product has to pass practical tests. Prototype seats are tested in actual work situations by users who are asked to describe their experiences with them. In addition, they are observed by a trained team to see how they intuitively use each seat. The goal is “Design for Use”: the user shouldn’t have to adapt to a seat. Rather, the seat should be designed to suit how people naturally act and behave.
Effective Back Relief
But the developers of the MSG65/75 weren’t satisfied with creating a seat that is easy to understand and operate. They wanted more: namely for the user to feel good in every respect, which includes effectively relieving back strain. This is achieved not just by an ultra-low-profile suspension, but also by wide, ergonomically shaped cushions and height- and angle-adjustable armrests that optimally support the body. The backrest can be set to any inclination between -5° and +30°. When driving backward, the MSG65/75’s asymmetrical shape supports the user’s work posture (the backrest is tapered on the right side, which facilitates prolonged use in a twisted position; extra elbow space was intentionally omitted on the left to provide extra support on that side when driving in reverse). A lumbar support bolsters the lower spine to foster a natural sitting posture. The backrest height can also be adjusted to the user’s torso in 13 steps. An extra-high backrest is optionally available for use in steer-skid loaders and mini-excavators. The seat’s fore/aft position can be adjusted over 8.3 in. as a standard capability. Another clever feature is quick weight adjustment for the mechanical suspension: the driver can very quickly and easily adjust the seat to his or her weight within the range from 100-375 lbs. Safety features are also essential for feeling good on a seat. And the MSG65/75 is the first compact seat to feature an integrated duo-sensitive retractable belt with seatbelt lock recognition. Also standard is an operator presence switch that automatically switches off certain vehicle functions when the user gets out of the seat. The MSG65/75 product family from Grammer integrates an innovative, user-friendly seat concept that is without par. These seats comply with the requirements of the relevant vibration attenuation classes for compact construction machines (ISO 7096 EM 6–9) and forklift trucks (DIN EN 13490 IT 1–2). The MSG65/75 seats were also the first compact seats to be equipped with a standardized interface for multifunctional armrests. Having recognized this trend over a decade ago, today the company has advanced to become a complete supplier of seating systems, multifunctional armrests, and electronic components.
In recent years, the available modules for assembling the MSG65/75 seats have gained many new comfort- and convenience-enhancing features. They include a low-frequency seat suspension that reduces vibrations and jolts even more effectively and an optional fore/aft isolator. Fully automatic setting to the operator’s weight and a new height adjustment feature make it even easier to optimize the seat for use. The cushion width has been extended to 20.4 in. The seats’ modularity even makes it possible to install the larger S700 seat top, which offers a new dimension of comfort with a maximum seat width of 21.6 in., seat cushion depth adjustment, pneumatic lumbar support, and active seat climate control.
The MSG65/75 seats are also good examples of Grammer’s global orientation. They are manufactured in the company’s main factory in Germany as well as in China and the United States. This makes it possible to directly supply customers worldwide. But the market success of these extraordinary seats is primarily due to their excellent suspension performance, ease of use, attractive design, modularity, and versatility.