Case Study: Component Review

Anodized Handle

Case Study: Component Review

A household name of kitchen and laundry appliances used the expertise of Gait’s Design for Manufacturing Engineering team to lead a critical product component review to drive cost efficiency.

The Opportunity

A global appliance manufacturer based in Thailand, Mexico, China and Italy and operating in 50 countries, urgently required a review of an extremely critical highly-aesthetic appliance door handle. Their existing supply base was unable to offer them any innovative or effective solutions.

This was the first project that this global company worked with the Gait team on. They had been impressed by the engineering and technical expertise during initial conversations and were keen to get a fresh and innovative perspective on this project.

The company asked Gait to provide a 20% cost reduction with this project.

The Solution

In-depth Product and Production Review
Gait’s Design for Manufacture Engineering and Supply Chain team looked at the product from a fresh perspective. Due to the high aesthetic requirements, an in-depth review of the technical product specifications was critical to defining the approach. 

Technical Material Assessment
As a first step, the Gait team worked diligently with the Dupont Material Scientists to propose an aluminium powder-coat with a unique metallic finish that required precision production to meet the required product aesthetics.

Product Redesign
Next, the team reviewed the structure of the handle to include a steel insert which enabled the product to maintain the strength and durability required.

Quality Control
Quality control is critical to ensure efficient production. The Gait Quality Engineers created a new quality specification, ensuring the supplier and the client were clear on the acceptance criteria for the new material finish and product construction.

Cost Control
Finally and most importantly (as cost reduction was the core criteria for the project), the Gait Supply Chain team worked tirelessly with the suppliers to ensure the changes resulted in cost reductions over and above the client’s expectations.

The Results

Reduced Product Cost
The Gait team over delivered on the product cost reduction, with a 30% (10% higher than the target of 20%) saving on the cost of the product and hundreds of thousands of dollars saved for the client.

Technical Material Research
The results from the testing of the new powder-coated finish that Gait introduced to the client’s engineering team, triggered a change in materials for other projects in production and further cost reductions for the client.