We are a young start up. We have an idea about a new drinking experience, we have in our mind a new product, but how to start?
How to develop a product in a successful way
The key how to develop a product in a successful way is easy: to follow the development process, step by step. We learned this approach thanks to our experience as Engineer in the Automotive field. These steps are:
- define the product function and the product specifications
- set the materials and the production technology
- nominate the supplier (with non disclosure agreements)
- produce and test the prototypes
- introduce the result of the test in the design of the final product
- finalize the product design (and apply for the patent)
- start with the series production
How to define the product function
First of all, we define the main function: the tool that we have in mind should enable the user to drink the fruit juice directly from the fruit itself, for example of an orange.
How to perform this action? We thought about a simple tube, that can stick the fruit, that can dig into the pulp and that can be used as a straw without being clogged by the smashed pulp while drinking.
In addition, we thought about a hard straw with a sharp tip to pierce the fruit, with some lateral features to help digging in the fruit and with some lateral holes to do not being clogged by the pulp.
Finally, here some sketches from the early phases:
How to set the right product requirements
As mentioned above, before thinking about materials and production technologies, first of all the designer has to focus on the list of the requirements.
For our product, the most important requirement is the food contact safety, described by the following EC regulations:
- EC Regulation (Link) No 1935/2004 (Framework Regulation)
- EC Regulation (Link) No 2023/2006 (Regulation on Good Manufacturing Practices)
You can find the Access to European Union law here: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/homepage.html
In addition, other requirements are:
- dimension: the product has to be handled and it hast to fit in the mouth of the user and should fit in different sizes of oranges
- stiffness: the product should stiff enough to pierce the fruit skin and to dig into the pulp
- durability: the product should last, should be washable and should do not lose the functionality with the aging
- safety: the product should not harm the user and the
- Eco friendship: the product should not damage our environment in the production and should be recycled at the ed of its life
- production price: to sell the product to a rational price.
How to define the materials
We used the latest 3D modelling software to develop the shape of MR. ORANGE. Here below some screenshots from the designing phase.
The 3D analysis lead us to select for the straw a special food compatible aluminum alloy, with the surface treatment of anodic oxidation unsealed and for the lid a food compatible rubber:
- Straw: diameter: 8 mm, length: 200 mm, weight: 9 g, material: aluminium 6082 with 15um anodic oxidation.
- Lid: diameter: 32 mm, height: 10 mm, weight: 20 g, material:
How to define the production technology
After choosing the right material an the surface treatment, it is time to select the production technology more suitable to build prototypes and series parts. The combination of the selected material, the tolerances and the production volume give us a wide range of technology that are fitting to the requirements. By crossing this list with our business case and with the available materials, we selected the following technologies:
- For the straw, CNC 3 axis lathe (prototype and series);
- For the lid, CNC 3 axis milling (prototype) and injection molding (series).
How to nominate the supplier
We decided to have the same supplier for the production of our prototypes and for the series production. In addition our suppliers, located in Italy, are both certified ISO 9001. We are able to track our production. Our materials meet the regulations in matter of food contact certification.
Furthermore we establish with the suppliers the “NDA” (non disclosure agreements), to make sure that the product and its specification remain confidential, and the supply agreements, to define price, pay modality and delivery terms.
How to test the prototypes
Hence, we order the prototypes, based on the 3D model that we designed. Will it works? Lets test them!
In the testing phase we drank more than 200 oranges, testing different layouts of the lateral holes. The best layout enable us to drink up to 94% of the juice, in comparison with a normal squeezer.
Moreover, we washed them multiple times, by hand-washing or with a dishwasher, testing the resistance of the surface treatment.
So we are now happy to present the final version of MR. ORANGE.
How to bring the idea to the market
In conclusion, we built and tested the prototypes, we defined the production process and we nominated the supplier. In addition, the business case is positive and we apply for the patent at the European Patent Office.
Now we need your help to collect the budget to finance the tooling and to start the series production: support our funding campaign and pre-order your MR. ORANGE today!
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