The client is a well-known UK designer and manufacturer of lightweight exhibition systems. The brief given from them was to design a tablet PC holder suitable for use with their existing display systems. The product had to be able to accommodate a range of different tablet sizes whilst being suitably secure so that the tablet PC’s were safe from being dropped and would-be thieves would be deterred from taking them.
The client wanted the device to match existing aluminium and plastic products in their range and provided the communication link between Hillside Design and their network of proven suppliers to help achieve this. A series of product concepts were created by Hillside Design based on the carefully selected criteria from the client. These criteria were based on knowledge of the industry and formed a clear specification. For example, a fundamental part of the specification required data on tablet PC dimensions currently available on the market. Hillside Design and the client worked together to understand the variety of shapes and sizes available to make sure that the new product would be compatible.
Identifying this information early in the design was crucial to the progression of the project and allowed design features to be added that would help best accommodate as many devices as possible. The basis for the design was simplified as much as possible in terms of its operation and manufacture. The client realised that it should be as easy to operate for the customer as possible whilst presenting a problem to any would-be thief. This resulted in the client specifying a single style of mechanical fastener that would fulfil this brief by providing security and a single tool operation for the user. To keep investment in tooling low, the product consisted of one new aluminium extrusion which required cutting and drilling, and two sets of two injection moulded plastic parts per product. The rest of the assembly required some fabricated metal bar and carefully chosen off the shelf components which were readily available and low cost. The combination of carefully fabricated extrusion and robust injection moulded parts made sure that the device was secure and safe. Small adjustable pads were included in the design to make sure that different thicknesses of tablets could be securely and safely held. All throughout the development of the project regular communication back and forth with the client made sure that the evolving design matched their requirements, for user experience, styling and manufacture.
Hillside Design prepared a functioning prototype for testing and approval from all parties. Production CAD, control drawings, bill of materials and assembly instructions were made and issued out to the client and their manufacturers to help assist their transition into production. Hillside Design and the client monitored the manufacturing and signed off the samples for production.