When we took on this project our scope was to re-design a range of gym equipment to improve its appeal to the user and augment the user experience where possible. As the project evolved, our design intervention encompassed not only the look and feel of the product range but process level interventions to improve the manufacturing process.
Targeted at Sec C & C+ audiences, these products needed to have a macho mass appeal with a consistent design language, to create build the perception of contemporary, high-value equipment.
A mandate to not exceed the current cost of the products by more than 10% while being able to increase the value proposition of the range.
The process of manufacture for the new design would rely on the existing and available resources, the current set up being largely dependent on hand building and assembly methods.
To empower the fabrication team with systematic production process and help build higher competency to ensure the translation from design to execution is error free.
Our study of the existing range and the way it was manufactured highlighted the need to work with standardized parts that would lead to reduced inventory and reduced costs.
With the growing influence of internet and new media, we found that the target was fast evolving their visual appetites and experiential expectations. They wanted to be working out in modern, aspirational looking gyms. However, when it came to the equipment they wanted it to be extremely strong and solid, a boost to their ego.
The new design was inspired from Mallkhamb (wooden pole), an integral feature of an Aakhada (traditional Indian gyms / places to train wrestlers) and modern heavy equipment, a balance of new age sensibilities and modern methodology with the age old icon of strength and fitness in India.
Mechanisms were carefully recalibrated to align with ergonomic requirements based on Indian anthropometric data.
The standardization of design throughout the range helped streamline the process of fabrication and assembly thereby reducing the manufacturing timelines. One of the intents of the redesign was to reduce the quantum of fabrication work, focusing more on assembly of parts made by mechanized processes. This would help in reducing dependency on the skill of the workman thus improving efficiency.
We drastically reduced material variations, multiple components fabricated in larger quantities brought the per unit cost further. New technologies like laser cutting of metal pipes and tubes, CNC bending were introduced, improving fit finish, reducing errors and time required for fabrication and assembly.
The final touch was the selection of the colour combination which took forward the inspiration from heavy equipment bringing a solid and macho feel to the equipment.
IT IS ALWAYS A TEAM EFFORT