Coffee roasting is a science, roasting causes a chemical reaction within the coffee bean, it results in a brown, aromatic, and flavourful bean that is grounded and brewed. This process is intricate and sensitive, it can make or break the taste.
Arabesso Roastery™ approached us to create Mehmas with friendly interface, ease of use, integrated solution, and high frequency of roasted patches are some of the things Mehmas has going for it, it’s a sophisticated solution for the coffee industry.
What we did:
Guide: 5 min read
The main three benefits of Production and Regulatory
Does having a final design of a product mean the end of the design journey? Why would the EU ban certain items from being sold in Europe? And why would a small-sized product cost multiples of the cost of a larger product to manufacture and assemble? There’s a LOT to consider when the design is done.
If an entity cares for their client base and their bottom line, it is imperative to consider the production process and the regulatory compliance of the product. But what does that mean, exactly? And how? We will be exploring all these questions and answering them based on our expertise and to the best of our knowledge. But first, let’s see the three biggest benefits of actually considering production and regulations.
Cost reduction is probably the main motivation to consider the service of production design. Manufacturing and assembling a product can be a hole in the pocket if not done correctly. Second reason is Meeting market standards. It is almost a guarantee that the designed product will be launched and sold in certain markets with no hiccups, this ultimately means a larger customer base. Last but not least is quality control. That means the assurance that the manufacturing tools are producing the desired outcome, up to certain standards, and the components are being supplied through trusted and certified vendors.
Now, with the why explained briefly, let’s explore the what and how.
Have you heard the phrase “Less is more”? It applies in a lot of situations, one of which is production. It is intuitive that the less parts a product has, the less it will cost to make and assemble, keep in mind that the time spent assembling those components is money paid for.
When reducing parts, do think small. Components like screws, fasteners, washers …etc, are not expensive, but they take the majority of time to assemble, so their cost adds up to multiples of their price. Conventional fasteners usually take up 50% of the assembly time, built in fasteners can be used to reduce that time drastically.
Eliminating fasteners completely is often unrealistic. In that case, using the same fastener type and size will save time and money. This does not only apply to one particular product, it applies to all common parts in a production line.
A modular design is also one way to keep assembly costs down. This method subdivides the system into several smaller parts called modules. These parts can be modified, exchanged, replaced, or assembled much easier than a conventional design.
The consideration of the production process will prove to be useful not just by reducing assembly time and cost, it will also create a flexible product that is foolproof to assemble, and has a high degree of automation potential. Those factors not only increase efficiency, they will also increase reliability.
There was a certain point in time where designers and engineers thought of regulations as a headache imposed on them that would limit their creative freedom. Sometimes, these regulations were only considered at the end of a project so nothing would hinder the design process. But not anymore they don’t, times have truly changed.
How much does being ethical cost? What a silly question! Nevertheless, it is extremely relevant in the product design industry. Different regulatory agencies around the globe have different regulations and standards for a variety of industries, some agencies offer regulatory frameworks more detailed and mature than others. For example, the CE and RoHS regulations must be followed if the product is to be sold in the EU region.
The Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive is applicable to essentially all electronic products sold in the European Union. Such hazardous substances include lead, cadmium, mercury, and many other substances that could prove dangerous to living beings.
CE marking indicates that a product has been assessed by the manufacturer and deemed to meet EU safety, health and environmental protection requirements. It is required for products manufactured anywhere in the world that are then marketed in the EU.
CE for example, has more than 20 sectoral product directives, every directive has a number of ‘essential requirements’ that the product has to meet before being placed on the market. Technical documentation relating to the product needs to be compiled. This information should cover every aspect relating to conformity and is likely to include details of the design, development and manufacture of the product.
Many product regulatory compliance frameworks have now advanced enough that they are actually providing competent system designers and product developers with exciting new opportunities to reduce product costs, development costs, and improve time-to-market.
This is a long, extensive, and intricate process every product has to go through and for very good reasons. The environmental implications of manufacturing, using, and disposing of certain products are huge, these regulations proved to lessen the effect of such products. Not just that, these regulations reduce health hazards on humans and animals or eliminate them all together.
Design for regulatory compliance is an important measure. Following those regulations comes at a price, of course, but it is definitely a worthwhile investment. The best course of action is usually an early consideration of the regulations, which in turn will reduce time to market and redesign costs. This whole service will definitely yield a better, more competitive product with a much better positioning in the market.
To properly design Mehmas, we started an in-depth research about the conventional roasting methods and their shortcomings, and we worked to design a product that would solve them. Arabesso™ were also able to give us valuable insights into the industry.
Some of the design criteria were: A highly efficient product that would lessen the energy consumption, higher consistency in taste and variation, lower the technical knowledge in order to make roasting accessible, lowering the effect of the outside temperature, and to easily customize the roast from light to dark. Mehmas™ was also made to have a higher roast frequency, as conventional roasters had to have some downtime between roasts, especially if you’re looking for consistent patches.
The cooling of the roasted patch was also a consideration of ours in the design process, beans need to be cooled immediately to avoid changes in quality and aroma.
Product Regulatory & Production
Mehmas™ is a food processing machine, it needs to follow a bunch of regulations from different regulatory agencies in order to ensure it is safe, and that’s exactly what was kept in mind when designing the product. Mehmas™ was designed with ISO, CE, FCC, JFDA, and FDA regulations in mind to ensure the safest possible outcome for customers and roasters alike.
We sourced the product components to ensure the highest quality. We also designed the product for ease of assembly and manufacturability. This will not only keep the costs down, but it will also lead to shorter time in production and assembly lines, which will also drive the costs down even lower. And one more important consideration of ours was designing the product for ease of packaging and shipping, this will also drive the costs down since it will take less space and time to organize in a shipping container.
Our strategy was to get the regulatory compliance for the product confirmed and granted the soonest while preparing the production plan to have the product smoothly produced in a time manner.
A product is only as good as the experience it provides for the user, and it is crucial for us to deliver a product that is satisfying to use, and functions exactly as intended.
Conventional coffee roasting is a technical task that requires prior knowledge and experience, Mehmas™ made the process accessible to experienced veterans and novice users alike. The user interface is easy to grasp, and it delivers all the controls you need in an organized, fulfilling manner.
Multiple cyclone with different shapes and handles have been tested in order to make sure an ergonomic cyclone that lowers the strain and makes it easier to manipulate has been acquired.
We also made sure the chaff collecting and disposal process was gratifying. A vacuum pump was added to automate as much of this process as possible, and it was a success, to say the least.
Engineering & Material Selection
To say there has been tons of engineering work in this product is a downright understatement. The electrical wiring and programming were all done by the Jazri team.
Safety was a major concern considering the amount of heat and electricity being supplied, so we made sure that there was enough insulation for both, computational fluid analysis (CFD) was done to monitor the hot and cold air in circulation.
We also made sure adequate vibration dampening was reached, and proper computer-aided heat analysis was done. We did all of that, and then some!
Material selection for the different components was made with different criteria in mind, such as food grade for every surface that is in contact with the beans, corrosion resistance, insulation material for the heat chamber and ducts, oil-resistant for some components, and all have a high-quality finish.
Behind the Scenes
Product design is a process of joy, we began the concept creation with a set of options, we went through a series of explorative prototyping starting with just a muck-up to a high-fidelity prototype to determine the size and the mechanism. We got the user involved in the concept creation and testing to ensure the usability of the product.
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We enjoyed designing a vivid range of products whether with individuals getting their ideas ready to market or helping startup launch their business with a differentiated design or enabling enterprises to enter a new market, or enhance an existing product. We ensure all parties get the product ready to make exponential growth in the market.