An unusual opportunity recently arose with Copper Dragon brewery to apply our custom build skills to product development and design in the creation of a mobile bar.
Copper Dragon brewery has been established since 2002 and approached us to design and manufacture a portable unit that would enable their sales team to distribute and offer samples of their products at trade fairs and exhibitions.
It needed to be relatively lightweight and easy to collapse to allow for one person transportation in either a small van or estate car. Their current system was cumbersome, difficult to transport and did not offer branding capabilities.
Product development solution
We first approached this particular project with research into the alcoholic beverage industry, where we soon realised there were no existing alternatives that could be simply modified. This in turn led to full prototyping and material testing in our product development facility.
It was essential for the design to work ergonomically and support the forces that are applied in “pulling pints”. It was decided after due deliberation, material tests and refinements, that the most effective way to solve the dilemma was to use the barrel as a counter weight measure and use a fold-flat mechanism for the whole unit that would allow for ease of transportation.
Instead of a two person installation, the new product would need only one, could easily fold into a car and was extremely lightweight as required by the brief.
Another important aspect of the design was the need to graphically promote a show-specific product or service. This presented another challenge in the product development stage.
During prototyping, graphics for the unit were designed to fulfil two functions; create overall unit strength and offer advertising and sales promotion. This was achieved using a polypropylene food-standard material that was scored to enable flat-packing with the enhanced ability to interchange graphics. This was then attached to the unit using a magnetic joining system like those used in our exhibition equipment.
After having designed the actual unit itself in our product development lab, Rounded Edge were then tasked with developing a brand around a pub/party/exhibition theme with the ‘Drink Inn’ logo taking inspiration from traditional ale labelling and beer pumps.
The name Drink Inn offers a double meaning; a name you would associate with a ‘perfect pint’ from an inn or pub, or ‘to drink in’ at an event or even in the home.
We developed the strap line ‘Raise the bar’ to take a literal meaning of the product assembly and raising the bar through innovation. We designed and printed linear instructions for product step-by-step assembly, which were then incorporated into pre-release and launch promotional material.
The reaction to the finished working prototype has been extremely positive, so much so, it has opened up new business opportunities for Copper Dragon in the home brewing market for private parties and events. Now customers can purchase a barrel of their ale and pull a pint from a professional looking well designed unit which complies fully with health and safety standards.
Jamie Crenigan briefly reflected on our budget-conscious approach to the project. Please follow the testimonial link below.
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