Mechanism Design – Consumer Product

Prototyping, comparison, and development of a repeatable, proprietary, manufacturable, and cost-effective product in ~ 4 months

Client – GIR – an innovative consumer goods company

Expertise Applied

Problem

GIR had a vision for a one-handed locking and unlocking mechanism for kitchen tongs, but did not have the engineering capabilities in-house to develop it.

Solution

SGW Designworks developed a proprietary (now patented) mechanism that would allow one-handed locking and unlocking, that was easy to manufacture. The mechanism was incorporated into the GIR Kitchen Tongs.

GIR Tongs
Proprietary hinge locking mechanism developed by SGW Designworks

Results / Outcomes

  • Multiple prototype and testing cycles led to the optimal design and feature set
  • The product is now available and can be seen in this video

Overview

GIR has been making and marketing sector-defining products for years. They identified an opportunity to market a unique, differentiated tong product that would require some true innovation. The aesthetic of the product would be informed by existing GIR products. The differentiation would be in the locking functionality of the tongs. GIR hired SGW Designworks as their product engineering firm for the development of the mechanism.

The design package for the mechanism was finalized, and SGW Designworks worked with GIR’s manufacturer to get production started. Since the mechanism was truly unique, it was important that the manufacturer understand the critical tolerances in the system, so it would function properly for consumers.

The goal of the tongs was to allow users to squeeze them closed with a certain amount of force, and have them lock closed — but not lock closed during regular use. They also needed to unlock or open with a similar squeeze. And, they had to operate (locking and unlocking) with the use of only one hand. SGW Designworks applied their most senior machine designers and engineers to conceptualize multiple mechanisms that may deliver this functionality. After multiple stages of prototyping and comparison, the product design team developed a mechanism that would be repeatable, manufacturer, and cost-effective.

Hardware Developed Technologies Leveraged
Hinge Locking MechanismSolidworks 3D CAD
Stamped sheet metal partsSolidworks Motion Simulation