Our product design work in Oxfordshire has been a central part of our portfolio for over 30 years.
An established partnership
Crucible started working with Oxfordshire-based Airdri in 1989, when we were involved in designing a number of successful hand dryers for the company’s original founders, Peter Philipps and Peter Allen. Fast-forward nearly twenty-five years, when Bruce Philipps took over from his father, and decided that a new approach was required. Having designed some of Airdri’s most successful products in the past, Crucible was invited to conduct a product review before designing a range of new hand dryers.
A coherent range
Our review involved a retrospective look at the company’s products, as well as investigating its current range, competitors, markets, production processes, and its long-term threats and opportunities. The conclusion of the design review was that the renewed company needed a coherent range of dryers in innovative new housings that embodied the qualities that the original founders had established - engineering innovation and quality, combined with low cost manufacture and contemporary styling.
Shapes that communicate
We designed two new dryers that use existing, proven internal parts, housed in new casings. The proportions and sizes of each product are very different. One was designed to be compatible with American disability legislation, which requires it to be less than 100m deep. The other uses a powerful fan that makes it considerably larger. The features that unify the range are, however, very similar - and yet unique in the world of hand dryers. First, the housing tapers as it moves downwards towards the airflow, indicating a ‘focus’ for the function of the product. In addition, the outlets are created from separate, concave mouldings. These also suggest where to place your hands in order to get the maximum drying effect. These simple yet distinctive features set the Quest and Quazar dryers apart from the standard square boxes that currently dominate much of the hand dryer market.
Both dryers are also available in a range of mix and match finishes so that a chrome body can be matched with a black grille, or metallic grille with a coloured body, etc.
A breath of fresh air
The new dryers have become the new standard products in the Airdri range and having been launched into the market are gradually appearing in motorway service stations and washrooms, where powerful, quiet and very reliable hand dryers are required.
As David Lewis, Group Engineering Manager of Airdri puts it:
“From the original product strategy meetings through the to the concept design and technical development, Crucible has delivered two stunning hand dryers that represent an exciting new chapter for Airdri”.