Two industrial design companies collaborate on the design of a modular fire truck


The layman may hear “fire engine” and think of only one type of vehicle. In reality, the term refers to a variety of shapes of trucks containing different types of equipment, each ordered according to the needs of a specific service and customized by the manufacturer. It takes time, and time costs money.

In order to streamline both the manufacturing process and the end-user experience, the Swiss fire truck manufacturer Brandle contracted not one, but two industrial design firms. Milan Rohrer and Shibuleruboth based in Zurich, collaborated on the design of Brändle’s Neorosso modular vehicle.

“The new design is modular and allows for individual equipment and configuration for each customer,” writes Milan Rohrer Studio, Shibuleru adding that together they developed “a more systemic and modular construction process.”

In terms of improving the user experience, the two companies worked on “the overall design, including light installations, the introduction of the world’s first on-board hygiene station, all touch interaction elements and the complete overhaul of the user interaction of the pump”.


“Physical switches and knobs are a key requirement for commanders and machinists using the pump. A clear graphic design treatment that immediately illustrates water flow through animated LEDs embedded in the control panel makes the system ‘test of the volunteers’.“The panel design is itself modular, so it can display all possible configurations of inputs, outputs, and mixes.”

“Fire crews can fully customize their vehicle without the complexity of command center manufacturing being affected.”


“We designed the onboard hygiene station including a touchless water tap, hand dryer integrated into the sliding handle, air hose, mirror, eye wash pump and storage for gloves and towels.”

“The station stores inside the truck and can be completely removed in seconds for easy use.”

“Thanks to its modular and user-oriented design”, concludes MRS, “Brändle is one of the few companies that can respond very individually to customer needs while still competing with international competitors.”

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