A startup set out to create the world’s most consumer-centric health and beauty products company. They focused initially on developing a flagship branded shaving product line specifically designed with people of color in mind. After the launch of that product line, they turned their focus on delivering a trimmer built for comfort, precision and ease-of-use. Working closely with a top industrial design firm, they created a beautifully sleek and contoured product and the next step was to engineer it to meet the challenging design and functionality requirements, including extended battery life, steady motor speed, 360° non- slip handle and easy-to-clean waterproof blades. All of this housed in a metal casing that combined sharp corners and precise angles to create a beautifully sleek and contoured look.
The biggest challenge facing our customer was how to preserve the industrial design integrity without compromising on functionality and performance. The nature of the design meant that space for the components —such as motor and battery— would be limited and also pose significant challenges to the manufacturing process. The ambitious product specification also put an emphasis on blade speed, blade operating temperature and temperature of the handheld body. Adding to all of this complexity was an ambitious product launch date.
The customer required an experienced product development partner. PCH came to the project with highly skilled and experienced engineers, 20 years of manufacturing know-how, and a culture of respect for industrial design. PCH also has rapid prototyping capabilities in San Francisco that made it possible to iterate to meet the demanding schedule.
Selecting the best components and a custom-designed blade, PCH built 3D printed models and machined numerous prototypes to quickly iterate and prove out that the industrial design, performance requirements, user experience and component compartment space were all compatible. In addition, the housing of the trimmer had to be easy to hold, readily maneuverable and quickly adjustable while still fitting a battery capable of running the motor for four hours without performance degradation, have zero gap part transitions and no visible fastener.
To ensure the transition to mass-production was seamless, the development team traveled to China to oversee testing and manufacturing and to ensure the final trimmers coming off the line both preserved the industrial design and functioned properly.
From start to finish, the user experience and industrial design were the foundation of this product. Through rigorous development and a defined process to reduce risk, PCH helped the customer go from product concept through to manufacturing and post-production within 12 months. This included ground up mechanical engineering and unique systems electrical and firmware engineering solutions. PCH also managed the transition to manufacturing and new product introduction, including sourcing, procurement, supply chain management, quality control and continuous improvement. PCH never lost sight of the customer’s business requirements. Since its launch, the trimmer product has been a big success with consumers and won numerous design awards.