Keywing: 3’s a Collaboration not a Crowd

Testimonial: “Giving me insights and advice only experts could know – BEC worked hard to get my product to market so I could achieve my goals. And having the whole process in one place meant I had full visibility from start to finish.”
Geoff Rolandsen, Founding Designer, Keywing

Project: Keywing v2, the award-winning, internationally acclaimed key turner helping arthritis sufferers use keys with ease.

Keywing

The Keywing – Use keys with ease

Industry: Consumer Goods

Service:  Full service under one roof. From design for manufacture (DFM), design, tooling, tool trials, moldflow, production (2nd ops) to assembly.

The Team:  Having worked with JNDC – specialists in design for manufacture – on a number of projects, they gave us a call.

  • Keywing’s founder and originating designer, Geoff Rolandsen
  • BEC’s toolmaker Mike, technical expert Paul and account manager Holly
  • JNDC Design Agency (Dean & Richard)

JNDC methodically assess and review all options during the design and testing phase, providing peace of mind that the final solution is considered, informed and robust.  Dean and Richard have a wealth of product engineering knowledge and apply this in a manner that not only solves problems but delivers a commercially viable solution that meets the needs of the business.

Both provide an invaluable sounding board, working seamlessly with the BEC team.

Our Mission:  Geoff had already secured funding to design, manufacture and commercialise Keywing v1, achieving success with multiple awards (including the Design Council Spark Innovation Award) and support from Versus Arthritis UK.

However, Keywing needed refinement to ensure it was commercially viable long-term AND critical to its success as a UK product innovation, Keywing needed to be designed and manufactured in the UK, from start to finish.

Any perceived cost saving of shifting manufacturing oversees is often just that – perceived – outweighed by significant risk that arises through lack of control, language barriers, unknown manufacturing skills and expertise and miscommunication.

To achieve this, Geoff needed a thorough Design For Manufacture (DFM) partner; enter stage left JNDC.  Dean and Richard worked methodically, fine tuning the brief and product concept process, concluding that the design was key (couldn’t resist!!).  Designed with a focus on the full tooling, manufacturing and assembly process, the product need not consider overseas options and, the product could be manufactured in the UK.

BEC Solution:

If there was ever proof of the huge value in investing in those early briefing and design for manufacture stages, Keywing is it!

Working alongside JNDC and Keywing founder Geoff, we carried out a thorough DFM assessment before any metal was cut.  The detailed and comprehensive DFM review, underpinned by Mike’s extensive knowledge of injection mould tool design and functionality, lead to a high level of certainty and much better end-product.

By asking the right questions from the start, understanding the quantity, quality and cost goals of the project, Mike was able to design a tool that had multiple sliders and sub-gates so the tool could run fully automated; which ultimately reduced the part cost and provided consistency.

No tool modifications were needed, potential issues were ironed-out, and the tool was right first time, avoiding costly changes down the line.

During the project, we learnt that Geoff was eligible for the Manufacturing for Growth Grant, which our very own Paul and Holly worked on to help him secure. Going above and beyond to meet the selection criteria – making the process as easy as possible.

Sarah Goodwin, Manager from The Manufacturing Growth Programme told us “It was a pleasure to support Geoff on Keywing, with the product making such a difference to people’s lives it’s one I will be watching in future. 

Holly and Mike at BEC were helpful and efficient, providing a clear project scope well within the time scale, which ensured I was able to complete the application without any issues.”

We’re thrilled the grant was secured, new tools made, tool trials undertaken, first offs made and sent for sign off. Tool adjusted and the next set run off.

Our very own Matt worked tirelessly to get the production process right for our 2nd ops and assembly.  As the project neared completion with distributors wanting the product ahead of 2020 Christmas sales, we pulled out all the stops to meet the deadline.

Dean from JNDC remarks “once again BEC’s team delivered a seamless service.  Working with a company who engages early in the new product development process reduced the risk significantly, resulting in BEC delivering a quality product, on time, to quality and to cost.  Following the tool being signed off, BEC worked with Geoff and the JNDC team to develop a robust series of post processes, converting the injection moulded product into a fully packaged product ready for sale.”

Result:

Keywing products

The mark 2 version of the product is a more design led, modernised and ergonomic solution for arthritis sufferers.

We’re incredibly proud of this commercially viable, UK-manufactured, award-winning product.  Helping millions of arthritis sufferers around the world undertake the simplest of tasks.

For an arthritis sufferer, the Keywing means they can open their front door with ease, allowing them to remain safe and independent; a daily task that many of us take for granted. For many, the Keywing is the difference between being trapped at home and having the confidence and ability to go about their daily lives with confidence and control.

Please get in touch if you’d like to talk through your next product innovation.  01425 613131 or email us:  hello@becgroup.com

We’re here to help.   #plasticsforgood