The client is considered a market leader in providing products to enhance quality of life for people with special needs. Hillside Design were asked by the client to help re-invigorate an existing product in their range. The original product was part of a multi-room intercom and door release system which consists of an external intercom, user intercom unit and door entry control unit. It is the control unit that Hillside Design were asked to look at. The client had considered a way of adding additional functionality to their existing system. They wanted an updated product that had an LCD screen and additional input buttons.
Instead of developing the product from scratch it was decided that a clever modification to the existing design could allow the addition of the required functionality without the time and cost of a full re-design and tooling. The client provided Hillside Design with basic details of the new internal electronic components that they wanted to use including the LCD screen and input buttons. Using knowledge of injection moulding tool design Hillside Design quickly identified a modification to the existing moulding tool that meant a relatively simple insert in the tooling would provide features to accommodate new electronics parts. Hillside Design made prototypes of the proposed new moulding using in-house techniques including CNC machining. The prototype provided the client with a working proof of concept. Communications with the moulding supplier and their toolmaker were held, production CAD was updated and control drawings were issued so that the tool could be modified and new parts manufactured. Hillside Design assisted the electronics engineer by providing CAD for the new internal layout of electrical components including the LCD screen, its method of support and the design of a clear lens insert.
This project represented a large benefit to the client over starting a-fresh. Hillside Design were able to apply design expertise and familiarity with the clients product range to instruct and manage the injection moulding supplier and cooperate with the electronics engineer to achieve a solution with significantly reduced cost and was delivered before schedule.