The kneepad project was started when we agreed to attempt to achieve a price down and product improvement on an existing product that our customer Select Health Care were using.
The client Select Healthcare (UK) Ltd had been purchasing a fabricated kneepad from a supplier in the UK. The pad was constructed using a backboard with clench attachment nuts pre fitted. Shaped foam was then attached to the back plate and a PVC cover pulled tight over the foam. The PVC cover was attached using staples. The kneepad is used in the healthcare market and the joins in the PVC at the staples could not be properly cleaned causing a possible health hazard. The task was to solve the cleaning problem and to achieve a cost down.
The designers at Applied Product Design started their focus on the solution by looking at ways of making the kneepad easier to clean. This lead the designers to look at how a one piece design could be generated using a Poly Urethane (PU) moulding. This construction has no joins or staples to harbour germs and allows for easy cleaning.
In order that the piece of PU could be fixed to the clients products an attachment panel was moulded in. Choosing this construction method enabled the designers to generate a nicely contoured 3D shape that would be both attractive and comfortable to the end user.
To achieve the price reduction that Select Health Care required, it was decided to setup the manufacturing in China. As such tooling was set up with one of our existing partners in China. During the product development phase several samples and prototypes were constructed and shipped over for testing and evaluation. The completed design was accepted by our client after they had carried out numerous functional tests.
Following approval of the kneepad from the pre production samples sent from China, Applied Product Design organised the shipping by sea of the first production batch to their site in Ongar. These were then delivered as required to Select Health Care’s assembly site. Since then numerous more batches have been shipped, at the rate of approximately every other month.
"The moulded PU knee pad has shown us a cost saving along with an improved product specification. We now receive regular shipments from Applied Product Design to our call off requirements."
Nick Collins - Select Health Care (UK) Ltd.
Please see our website: - www.selecthealthcare.co.uk