According to the survey, people want to have less bulky lunchboxes. Also, people do not like the risk of spilling. Therefore a plastic case was designed, where a lunchbox, snack box and bottle fits in perfectly. It allows for the lunchboxes to be easily accessible, and protects the bags in case the lunchboxes do leak. The large lunch box has the same height as the bottle and the snack box, but 2 times the width. This will result in the choice of the customer to have 2 snack boxes instead of 1 lunchbox.
Because EMSA stated during the discussion that the case is over-engineered. EMSA’s lunchboxes are already 100 % leak-proof, and this is a big focus point of their marketing campaign. However, there is still the risk of the clips of a lunchbox being knocked loose when the box is in the bag and being jostled around. EMSA also felt the amount of plastic was too high and expensive. Therefore it was suggested to use a textile bag instead.
EMSA has contact in the textile industry, so production would not be a problem. One downside of textiles is the low stiffness; the sleeve will feel weak and it will be not easy to insert the lunchboxes. Therefore, thin plastic sheets will be used as reinforcement in the walls to give extra structural integrity. The textile will still give a rigid and high quality feel in line with EMSA standards. It also protects the clips from the lunchboxes, meaning they will not get knocked loose if the bag is jostled and thus reduce the risk of spilling. The textile chosen was polyester, some more in depth reasoning for this can be found here.
In order to choose dimensions for the case, dimensions for the lunchboxes first had to be determined. The boxes are simple to produce and have relatively cheap molds, however the EMSA seal technology in the lids means their production (and mold) costs are quite high. The mold cost was estimated to be around €50.000 for a new lid. With a lunchbox and snackbox option, this would create a start up cost of around €100.000 for the new product line. EMSA indicated the first run would be around 10.000 units, meaning that changing the lid dimensions would increase the cost of the products by €10. The aim for the total cost would be around €30, meaning that creating new lids would be too expensive.
As such, the dimensions of the lids are kept the same. The box dimensions are much cheaper to change, and would be viable. As the purpose of the SlimLine is to fit inside laptop bags, the depth of EMSA’s current lunchboxes was decreased to 5cm; this left enough volume for sizeable lunches but significantly decreased the bulk. Thus, the dimensions below were the result:
|Length (cm)||Width (cm)||Depth (cm)||Volume (L)|
The bottle will have the same height as the lunchboxes and snackboxes. Furthermore, it will have a diameter of 5 cm, as else it will not fit inside the sleeve. The bottle cap will be injection molded and to make the bottle look premium, it will be made out of stainless steel. EMSA already produces stainless steel bottles, so production would not be problematic. Furthermore, the bottle will be insulating to prevent the liquid form cooling down or warming up. A new bottle was developed specifically for this line-up, however, EMSA could also easily use or adapt one of its existing thermos bottles to fit the SlimLine.
Based on the dimensions of the components, the final dimensions of the SlimFit case could be determined. Here a problem quickly presented itself: having compartments for a lunchbox and two snackboxes/water bottles would give the case a width of over 40cm. This would be too large for some laptop bags, and as such a design alteration had to be made. Instead, the decision was made to only include space for a lunchbox and a snackbox, decreasing the total width to an acceptable 35cm as this fits within the dimensions of a 15” laptop. A bottle is something people feel comfortable carrying loose in their bag anyway, and as such it is fine to leave out of the case.
The top of the case will remain open and not have a lid. This is to keep the boxes accessible and give the SlimFit a sleek design. It also reduces the complexity of the product and production costs, as well as increasing the durability of the product as a lid is something that wears down fast with use and would be the first part to break or cause trouble.
A style analysis was conducted to ensure that the product would fit within the target audience’s environments, and a patent study was conducted to confirm that no patent issues would arise if EMSA takes the SlimLine into production. The style analysis can be found here, and the patent study here.