Plastic Product Design
Product Partners were contracted by Nozzad (UK) Ltd to provide plastic product design expertise to develop, prototype and manufacture a new nozzle advertising unit (nozzad) to supplement an existing range of specialist garage forecourt equipment used by UK and European petroleum retailers.
To ensure a direct and efficient plastic design and development process, from the outset Product Partners recommended; Ogle Models and Prototypes as a plastic part design prototyping partner and ENL as a tool making and moulding partner because of their; prototyping, toolmaking and moulding design for plastics experience.
Plastic Design Objective; Old nozzad and competitive products are easily damaged when dropped and run over by cars! Component parts become separated, lost and broken - a negative for petroleum retailers particularly in Europe where the nozzle advertising concept is still relatively new - a new plastic design solution was required.
The objective was to; create a tough and durable plastic product design using appropriate polymers retaining structural integrity when dropped - the detail plastic design was also required to fit a number of different size fuel nozzles without modification.
Design for Plastics Process; In addition to the usual on screen 'virtual prototyping', Product Partners plastic design and development process enabled early manufacture of sintered nylon SLS prototypes for client and toolmaker assessment and approval. The detail plastic design was easily and effectively evaluated, enabling ENL to instantly pinpoint modifications to improve the plastic part design, simplify tooling and reduce investment costs.
Applying the modifications to the developing plastic design a second iteration prototype was manufactured. In this instance the SLA process was used to manufacture silicon moulds enabling the production of multiple polyurethane resin cast component parts replicating the plastic part design. Benefiting from infinite colour options and crystal clear polyurethanes, prototype plastic parts were produced for extensive garage forecourt testing and sales presentation to European petroleum retailing companies.
With user and market feedback implemented into the plastic design process, CAD data updated to production issue and a definitive SLA produced by Ogle, enabled sign off and confident release of CAD data for ENL toolmaking and plastic part production.
Plastic Design Solution; Designed to fit a range of different petrol and diesel nozzles, the nozzad unit features a unique 'one clamp fits all' solution. The unique plastic design solution of a hinged clip-in clear lid ensures easy replacement of the advertising inserts and the locking splashguard prevents nasty fuel 'splash backs' ensuring a very satisfying user experience. The multi-coloured plastic parts are dictated by fuel type, grade and geographic region of use, but they provide a fun and bright appearance to what is usually a dull activity of fuelling your vehicle.
Nozzad was released to the market in the autumn of 2008 - a 6 month plastic product design and development programme successfully completed, on time and is now being rolled out across Europe.
Plastic Design Award; Nozzad was selected as a finalist for the 2009 Industrial Product Design category of the Plastics Industry Awards.