An iconic global brand of household appliances sought a new OEM manufacturing partner for their induction cooktop coil assemblies and controller subsystems, following a falling out with their existing offshore vendor. Looking to start anew with a more accountable, proactive EMS relationship, they considered us after reviewing our superior track record developing similar heating components for consumer appliance OEM customers across international markets.
Over the course of several onsite visits between our senior management and the client’s product engineering staff, necessary specifications were agreed upon, including overall dimensions, wattage, and connector interfaces. We were tasked with literally re-engineering the cooktop induction components from the ground up, providing working prototypes with detailed design plans, spec sheets, and extended bill of materials. To aggressively compete for this substantial contract, our design team decided upon a collaborative, iterative approach over an accelerated three-month timeframe. They first conducted extensive benchmark testing of the client’s current induction cooktop products, recording performance parameters.
Next, our team conducted an extensive comparison of available raw materials via our vast network of trusted suppliers. Our engineers performed deep mathematical analysis to optimize redesigns of the main inductor elements, including coils (wire diameter, strand quantity, windings), ferrite magnetics (size, materials, placement, adhesives), and thermistor circuits. They next determined the most viable, cost-effective construction options, including shaving significant manufacturing costs from the client’s previous vendor via alternate engineering. Finally, the client’s technical representatives were presented with multiple prototypes for evaluation:
- 10, 8, and 6-inch planar induction elements easily adaptable to every model of the client’s cooktop line
- A full span of wattage ratings, ranging from 1,800 to 3,700 watts
- Each prototype featured subtle differences in materials and construction patterns
- Assured full IP protection for the custom-developed product designs
Following successful testing of the initial prototypes, the client green-lighted the early phases of manufacturing. Over the following 9 months we shepherded the inductor designs through a rigorous qualification process: pre-pilot build to facilitating UL approvals before a rapid ramp-up of initial pilot build quantities.
Four years later, the client remains very pleased with our end-to-end design and manufacturing performance, noting consistent exceptional quality with virtually no defects or difficulties among product units in field use, setting the stage for three successive contract renewals to date.
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