C512 can weigh mass of up to 130kg. This

C512 Final Year Project Assignment 2 – Interim Report

Preliminary Study

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There are many nose weight gauges currently on the market, but most of
these products are very similar, with the majority using the traditional spring
based method of calculation and only a few that can produce a digital reading.
There is currently only one available product that passes the British standard,
7961:2004 – specification for a device for measuring the vertical mass (nose
weight) at the coupling point of the towed vehicle. The main objective is to design
a product that can produce a digital reading while also aiming to pass the
British standard.

i (Milenco.com, 2017)


Existing Products

Milenco Precision Calibrated Nose weight gauge

This product is produced by Milenco, an award-winning caravan product
manufacturer. It is currently the only one of its kind to have passed the
relevant British standard for a nose weight gauge.  It has been tried and tested which has proven
it accurate to within 2 kilograms even after 1000 uses. It can weigh mass of up
to 130kg. This design tends to be the most standard design throughout all of
the products researched.
Price: £24.99

ii (GAUGE and GAUGE, 2017)


Am Controller Nose weight gauge

This design works by being attached directly between the tow ball and the
caravan hitch. This means that it can read the weight applied to the two bar
directly and measures the weight at the correct hitch level. The red bottom
allows the product to be locked onto two ball by simply twisting it. It can
weigh mass of up to 100kg.
Price: £22.95 



iii (Campervanstuff.com, 2017)


Reich Tow bar Load Control  

This design works in the same way as the AM Controller product above.
Although it has incorporated a digital reader into the design. The benefits of
this is that it measures the weight at the correct hitch level. The design is
compact which may make it more appealing to the customer, however it is not as
accurate as the Milenco product. It can weigh mass of up to 109kg.
Price: £44.99

Selecting an appropriate load limit
Car manufacturers quote
a maximum allowed nose weight that the tow bar can withstand for each of their
models.  From a list of around 700 cars over
90% of the two bars can withstand up to 100 kg, leaving 10% of cars being able
to withstand more than 100kg. iv (The Caravan Club, 2013). There
will be very little caravan nose weights over 100kg and the British standard
7961:2004 allows for a minimum of 100kg to pass.   Therefore, a scale that can display any weigh
up to 100kg would be suitable to use in the final design.  


























Product Design Specification


product should be fully functional in measuring the static vertical mass (nose
weight) at the coupling point of a towed vehicle of a towing caravan,
emphasising on ease of use.

– Should be capable of measuring mass from 20kg to a minimum of 100kg
            – Should be capable to
measure in increments of no more than 5kg

should be displayed digitally –

will be battery powered with batteries being replaced when necessary

The product should be vigorously tested in each of the following areas to
ensure it is suitable to use;

– the nose weight gauge should be able to complete a load test 1000 times while
continuing to meet the following accuracy requirements

– After the 1000 tests the nose weight gauge should be accurate to +/- 5kg or
10% of the total mass, whichever is least

testing – the nose weight gauge should be able to withstand twice the intended
maximum load specified (100kg) for 30 seconds without becoming permanently
deformed. It should show no signs damage after the 30 seconds are up

The finished product should aim to satisfy all requirements made in the British
standard, 7961:2004 – specification for a device for measuring the vertical mass
(nose weight) at the coupling point of the towed vehicle


The overall product should be compact and small enough to be stored away

height must not exceed 600mm in fully upright position

and breadth must not exceed 300mm when fully retracted

maximise ease of use;

of weighing mechanism should sit at approximately 350mm – 420mm to align with
the average height of a tow bar


be heavy enough to provide strength and stability

product must be light enough for it to be carried by one person with one hand

not exceed 15kg



not have any sharp edges that could cause injury to the user

electrical components must be fully sealed to protect from water damage

instruction manual should be provided outlining the following;

detailed set of instructions for use

on how to use the product safely

on how to storage, maintenance and recalibration



cover the most extreme temperatures within the U.K the product should be
expected to withstand temperatures between, -10°C and 35°C

humidity: 60 – 100%

be subject to shock loading

withstand all weather conditions

be able to withstand daily wear and tear



have a comfortable handle

sit at an appropriate height to the tow bar to ensure user is not bent over in
unnecessary positions

have appropriate grip

there are moving parts they must move smoothly and efficiently

there are folding parts they must be able to be manoeuvred with ease



be fitting with the caravanning cultures

darker in colour


age ranges from caravan users who want to know their caravan nose weight


Market Constraints
There are many existing products currently occupying – Competition (see market

product with a digital scale

product that completely passes the British standard


Design Constraints

Student abil


be durable and corrosion resistant

by Health and Safety regulations

light in weight

easily manufactured

be strong and able to withstand downward loads of up to 100kg



should be dried off and cleaned after each use if necessary

for the digital scale will need replaced when necessary

Life in Service


Quality & Reliability


Manufacturing Facilities














Initial Concepts
After the first draft of the PDS was done and the initial stages of market
research had been completed the concept designs began to develop. This was the
initial step into producing various shapes and sizes that could possibly work
and to start getting more creative with ideas. This was done in parallel with
continued market research and the PDS will be constantly updated on any new
information found.





















































































































Concept Analysis

The first three concepts shown are the initial concept thoughts and ideas.
More developed concepts and amalgamation of ideas will be produced before the
final design concept is selected.

Concept 1
Concept 1 is very simple in structure. It has two extendable legs which will
allow for it to be adjusted to the appropriate

Concept 2

Concept 3



The decision
matrix or otherwise known as the Pugh method is a method of evaluating
different options. In this case the options are the concepts (as shown).  It is a qualitative technique that ranks the
different options based on a set of criteria and the criteria was used is each
section of the PDS. However, some sections of the PDS that are not necessary at
this design stage were removed. The weighted decision matrix used operates in
the same way as a standard matrix. The only difference is that it multiplies
each score by a factor between 1 and 5 depending on how important this section
of the PDS. A sum is then calculated by adding up all the results and the
highest score can be clearly seen. 










Progress on core deliverables

“look at of
the existing market and the current leading
products” – this has been completed. More in-depth research needed to develop
the PDS.

into luggage type scales will be undertaken so that a
similar scale idea can be incorporated into the design” – currently undergoing
research. A final luggage scale has not yet been selected. There is research
currently being done into a scale that can read a higher a load than 100kg
because the British standard requires that the product must to be able to
withstand twice its intended load for a 30 second period (see PDS).

can then start to be generated” – a few simplistic concept
ideas have been generated. More varied and developed ideas are needed and are
being worked on at present

remaining core deliverables mentioned in assignment 1 have yet to begin and
will continue being developed as the project continues.




The first priority will be to take a that are on
the market today. From here specific products can be selected with
each of their capabilities critically assessed. The traditional spring method
for calculating weight is not entirely accurate given
that the type of spring used can affect the actual final
reading of the load exerted. Therefore it is not as accurate as modern day
methods for calculating weight, such as pressure
sensors. Furthermore, research into luggage type
scales will be undertaken so that a similar scale idea can be incorporated into
the design.
Once an in depth understanding of the market has been acquired, a
product design specification can start to be produced
accordingly. This allows for every aspect of future
designs to be considered when drawing up concepts. followed by a final concept
design. This will be chosen after reviewing each
concept and assessing them using a weighted decision matrix. A final design
proposal will be drawn up on CAD.
Material selection and manufacturing methods will be chosen appropriately. The
next stage will be to source material which can
then be built in the workshop so that a final product is

Details of training
There has been no training to date and
there will be no specific training required for this project. The only training
that may be necessary is online SolidEdge tutorials. These tutorials can cover
any topics needed that have not been in taught in the course thus far. Some
topics may include mechanism simulation, finite element analysis and more
advanced part modelling techniques.