When Lewmar the leading hardware manufacturer and supplier to the leisure marine industry, briefed us to create new design concepts for a roller shade screen, incorporating a fly screen and trickle ventilation that would also work as a trim for their existing range of hatches, we decided that we should look at all aspects of the market including the needs of OEM boat builders.
We undertook extensive market research with them and this showed that the new products should be easy and quick to install, not only for existing boat owners but also boat builders who would like to be able to fit the basic finishing trim early in the build and then add either just a cosmetic cover or if the buyer specified it, a shade and fly screen. This led to a design approach that also gave the boat owner the option to add a screen of their choice at a later date.
It was clear from our discussions that the boat builders wanted a clean, flush as possible appearance to work with their latest interior design trends, so we developed a product based on one piece injection moulded frames to give a visual quality similar to that of modern car interior fittings.
Because the product range required a series of large and potentially expensive mouldings, to get the tooling and finished components in within budget, we introduced Lewmar to an injection moulding and tool making company in Guangdong, China, who were able to tool up and manufacture the whole range at an economic price.