For the past 10 years, the coffee machine manufacturing market has been buoyant. Whether it’s our household coffee maker being upgraded from a boiling kettle and some granules to the industrial coffee maker we find on every high street.
We all know the joke ‘Why did Starbucks cross the road?... To dominate another corner’. But the coffee manufacturing market is no joke, it’s booming – since Starbucks opened its first shop in 1971, they now have over 30,000 outlets worldwide and consumers want that high-end experience in their own homes too.
The coffee machine manufacturers, whether it’s the industrial large form factor, or the smaller scale home appliance, have partnered with Anders through the ages and various product evolutions. These long standing relations are ones that Anders is keen to protect. Our company respects their privacy and competitive positioning. For this reason, we will not disclose their brand identity, but we will discuss our collaborative journey, engineering, and technologies involved.
From the outset, the Anders design and engineering team had to transfer its learnings in this industry into physical results. We reverse engineered many existing solutions and practically lived with our customers to understand what their design challenges were. With the sheer amount of choice on the market, our customer was keen to bring to the market a stylish product with a new display design to make a direct impact. Having transitioned from mechanical operation to monochrome, and more recently from monochrome to colour TFT, the next step was going to be a colour circular TFT display. We knew that their product had to be aesthetically pleasing as well as simple to use and understand. This was an established and educated brand, entering the market with a facelift for the world to see, there was no room for error.
We were tasked to design and engineer a circular colour TFT touchscreen panel that would fully integrate into our customers’ custom designed enclosure that would:
- Be robust enough to withstand constant use
- Be resistant to water and steam
- Be user-friendly and intuitive
- Be sophisticated in design and project a premier image for brand appeal
- Be diverse enough to differentiate our customer on the market
To stand out, we presented the customer with a touch enabled circular display option, which would differentiate their product from the more traditional rectangular displays that had entered this market already. The module featured wide viewing angles for ease of readability and we tuned the firmware to ensure false touches from water and steam were eradicated. We carried their branding onto the display itself, to ensure that their name was upfront and central during user engagement. We advised that we felt this was of the upmost importance when a brand is the first to enter the market with a revised product identity, to position their brand name in association with the application itself. We also introduced some hidden-until-lit features, as display space within the module required this level of multifunctionality as the user switches between options, eg drink size, strength, frothing etc.
With the industry trend for a retro look and feel, the customer experienced a benefit that they hadn’t primarily searched for. Their coffee maker not only stood out from the crowd, but it also has the potential to become iconic like many other leading brand names who have adopted circular displays to help position themselves within the markets where they compete.
Benefits to our customer
- Moving to a circular display provided our customer with the illusion of space within their enclosure.
- A circular display enabled our customer to stand out during a new product launch, differentiating their product by design. Even though there are a few coffee machines with circular displays, these are few and far between and many are still mechanical dials, for temperature control etc.
Benefits to Anders
- We have developed a strong relationship as our partners consultant for display and embedded technology, positioning us in the market as the technology experts.
- We have gone through the new product generation process with this customer, but this was a higher level of transition, as we went from mechanical operation, to a monochrome display, to a circular TFT display for the ultimate wow factor. This experience has added breadth and depth to our capabilities and customer relations.
- We have added scope and scale to our circular display product portfolio, adding to our certainty that this is a shape of display that we will see growth in, as others follow the example set by this particular leading logo.
The happy outcome
The product has gone through the design, engineering, and development stages, and we are pleased that we’ve been able to go on the prototype to production journey with one of our strategic customers. We are excited about all new and next generations of technology, and our highly skilled engineers enjoy nothing more than being part of the product realisation process.