Creator of the Vertical Spice Rack, Scott Miedtke, approached Solid Design Solutions (Solid) with a problem he was having producing his patented product. The Vertical Spice Rack is made of individual boards that are placed in a kitchen cabinet and slide out for easy access.
Scott wanted to improve his production process by increasing output and eliminating operator error. Each board has two or more holes drilled into each end for mounting which were hand-drilled. This was a time consuming and tedious process that lacked the standardization needed to create a uniform product 100 percent of the time.
Scott approached the team at Solid to help create a drilling fixture that improved his production process. During the Concept Phase, Solid assembled a project team consisting of a mechanical designer, electric engineer and controls expert. Together with the client, the team completed a thorough review of the current design and the project objectives. They worked to identify/clarify design specifications required for the fixture in order to meet the client’s needs. Conceptual options for achieving the desired performance were developed and refined to finalize the approach to pursue in the following phases.
The objective of the Detailed Design Phase was to prepare the fixture design for the Build and Test Phase. To meet this objective, the Solid Team refined the concept selected in the previous phase based on client direction. During this phase Solid designed the pneumatic logic and controls, created fully detailed mechanical 3D solid models and virtual prototypes, and finalized selection of standard-off-the-shelf components.
During the Build and Test Phase, Solid created and submitted purchase orders for components and required services. Then, using engineering drawings, the received components were inspected and verified. When the components were verified and assembled, the fixture was tested and minor changes were made. Once the fixture passed internal testing, the client reviewed and operated the fixture, and accepted the machine.
The result of Solid’s Machine Design and Build Process yielded a drill fixture that drilled holes in multiple different sized boards with precision and reduced production time by half. Additionally, the fixture was outfitted with a two-key safety mechanism to ensure operator safety.