Product Selector
Product Selector

Alberto Mazzoni, Senior Product Engineer

Category: Meet our People - Published on: April 15, 2024

Featured Image

Based at our R&D and Test Centre in Brescia, Italy

What does your role as Senior Engineer entail?

My main responsibilities cover the product validation process at our Nagbøl plant, using tools such as FEA (finite element analysis) and fatigue testing in the laboratory. As part of this work, I cover product development and evaluation, as well as supporting field testing activities. I also work closely with one of our major OEM customers, working together on product development and evolution programmes.

In addition, I am currently working on an industrial PhD project with the University of Brescia to develop knowledge on the fatigue life of wheels for industrial applications. As part of this, I also act as a tutor for mechanical engineering students who are carrying out apprenticeships or pursuing theses at our technical centre in Brescia.

Can you describe a typical day?

I have worked with the business for 15 years and in that time, I can honestly say that no two days have been the same. At the start of each week, the engineering team meets to review the status of all our Brescia projects and the validation tests that are in progress at the test centre. Based on this, I plan and prioritise my week.

During the course of each day, I will invariably talk to engineering colleagues at our Telford and Nagbøl plants and every fortnight, we have an online meeting with our colleagues at the technical centre in Woodridge (USA) to exchange information on joint projects and share knowledge. These open communication channels are vital, enabling us to work efficiently as one team, despite the geographical distance between us.

For the last three years, I have tried to spend half a day each week on the PhD project, with the main activities including: studying technical literature; attending update and project planning meetings with the university tutor; performing moveero laboratory tests; taking measurements or special tests at external suppliers or at the University’s laboratories; drafting scientific articles for publication in trade journals; and drafting the final PhD thesis.

The research should help to expand our basic knowledge and so enable us to design safer and, where possible, lighter products with the same resistance, improving vehicle’s fuel-efficiency.

What projects you are working on at the moment?

The preparation of an important field test that will take place in Spring 2024 is one of my key projects. The aim of the test is to give us a better understanding of the stresses and load conditions our wheels are subjected to under working conditions (for the purposes of the test, the wheel will be fitted to a combine harvester). This will allow us to verify the current design and identify any potential developments, for example, the possibility of developing lighter wheels, allowing the customer to save energy and also to comply with the laws on maximum permissible weight for road traffic.

Is there one project in particular that you are particularly proud of?

From an engineering perspective, it would be the improvement in our knowledge of the fatigue life of our wheels, and in particular on products like our TW-type rims, whose limits are not easily obtainable under normal laboratory tests.  To do this, we developed a special procedure, involving a range of tests over several months.  Thanks to the data we obtained, it is now easier to validate wheels that meet the load increases required by our customers.

In terms of our work with customers, I would say it’s work that I carried out a few years ago with a completely new customer. By working closely with them and coordinating all our technical activities, we introduced over 60 new wheel codes across our European manufacturing plants to meet the customer’s requirements.

What changes do you think the next five years will bring?

I think we will see more and more sensors being used on vehicles, and wheels in particular – as is happening now in the automotive sector. This reflects the ever-increasing need to monitor machines in real-time, giving operators the opportunity to optimise their performance and consumption, and to take immediate and appropriate action on the machine controls.

I also believe that we will see a greater development of machines powered by alternative fuels, whether that be electric, hydrogen, hybrid power – or others. These changes could all potentially impact on wheel requirements and design and so it’s an area that we are monitoring closely and regularly discussing with our OEM customers.

Related Posts

Featured Image

Thomas Kristensen, Engineer R&D

Based at our Nagbøl plant in Denmark What is your main role within moveero? My main responsibility is designing and...

April 15th, 2024

Featured Image

Anthony Oskielunas, Design Engineer

Based at our Woodridge plant in Illinois, US What are your key responsibilities? As the Lead Engineer for our hub...

April 15th, 2024

Featured Image

Meet Paul Turner, Lead Engineer – Product Engineering

I joined GKN (now moveero) as an apprentice over 25 years ago, and in the intervening yearshave held a number...

March 28th, 2024