Carnation Designs: Intelligent power switching system

By developing an intelligent power switching system for emergency and other specialist vehicles, Sagentia helped Carnation Designs Ltd re-energise its business, increase sales and approach lucrative new markets.


The range of electrical equipment carried by specialist vehicles has increased significantly in recent years: ambulances, for example, carry medical equipment, lighting and alarm systems; police cars carry on-board computers and communication equipment. An in-vehicle switching system is therefore required to direct and control the electrical load and make equipment operation as easy as possible.

Carnation Designs already offered a range of switching products but these had become time-consuming to make and maintain, and lacked flexibility in use, as they were constantly adapted to meet the demands of new on-board equipment. To ensure that it remained at the forefront of technology, the company looked for new ways to improve their products and increase sales. As part of a scheme funded by regional development agency Yorkshire Forward, Sagentia carried out an initial study to identify options for improvement. Carnation Designs was so encouraged by the results of our analysis that we were then asked to develop what became a brand new product range, genisys.

genisys is an intelligent, modular switching system, easy to configure (and therefore essentially future-proof) and simple to use. The modular design brings great flexibility. The system modules can be placed around the vehicle, closer to equipment, improving control for vehicle personnel and reducing wiring; this makes the system much easier to install and also easy to extend when new equipment is added or systems are updated.

genisys also brings new levels of sophistication to switching control. For example, frequent 'scenarios' can be created, such as an ambulance 'arrive at scene' program whereby rear lighting will come on, alarms reduce and key equipment will initiate, all at the flick of one switch rather than many.

Carnation Designs understood the issues facing its business but did not have the in-house expertise required to effect the fundamental re-design required. By exploiting our wide-ranging skill set, and knowledge of latest switching technologies, Carnation Designs could fast-track product development. When the new system launched at the 2007 Commercial Vehicle show, considerable interest was shown by both major specialist vehicle modifiers, and by new markets, revealing opportunities which the company is now well placed to exploit. High-end yachting is one example, and also outside broadcast vehicles used in the TV and film industries. The new range also prompted Carnation Designs to re-evaluate in-house competencies, and new specialist staff have been added to the team to take product development further.

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