Client: Kota Equipamentos
Project completion: August 2008
In 2008 we designed the A3 Oven for Kota equipment, the industrial unit Kota Import’s. The company is headquartered in São Paulo and specializes in the supply of raw materials and equipment for dental prostheses laboratories. Started as a project for aesthetic improvement for their old furnace model Atlantis – which had been copied by a competitor – the work evolved into a strategic design project aiming to create new competitive advantages for Kota. The design was used as a source for obtaining competitive advantage and to conquer new markets.
Finding good and new aesthetic and constructive solutions on a project for small-scale production, was our main challenge, which restricted investment on tools for production. The A3 model, as it would be named, has innovations that are closely linked to the challenge of fitting the product competitively. We tried to align the recognized qualities of the old model with the new design as well as enhance, facilitate and reduce the equipment’s manufacturing costs, assembly and maintenance.
The ethnographic research was fundamental for understanding the user’s, prosthetic technicians, work and needs. We spent a whole day in the Aragushiku laboratory of dental prostheses in São Paulo. At the end, we had a list of opportunities for improvement and innovation for the new furnace, which juxtaposed our extensive research about the market and technology. The main equipment innovations are the canal lock elevator, which prevents the prostheses from falling into the furnace, and the prosthetic support area in tempered glass, which allows for better workplace organization and makes cleaning the equipment easier. It has LCD display and had its programming logic redesigned and made simple and intuitive since it had been identified as confusing during the research phase.
Respected dental prosthetic Japanese specialist Hitoshi Aoshima endorsed the A3 oven – and the family of products that followed. With higher added value, the oven was placed by the company above the old model, increasing their profitability. The A3 has received several design awards including the prestigious German prize the Red Dot Award. In Brazil it received silver on the IDEA Brazil Award in 2009 and was selected for the exhibition of the Museu da Casa Brasileira Design Award. In 2010 it was bronze on the SENAI -SP Excellence Design and participated in the exhibition organized by the same award.
Besides making the oven more beautiful and presentable, [StudioIno’s project] made assembly much simpler and dramatically improved the functional logic of the product, adding more value to the product and the brand. The project definitely exceeded our expectations, so much so that, shortly after the end of the first project we started the same work with other line equipment adapting it to the new brand identity. Our team is proud to have worked in the production of a product that is well recognized on the market. That brought a lot of satisfaction to us all.
Jorge Tamake Jr. | Kota Equipamentos Industrial Director project manager.
Project developed in collaboration with Kota Equipamentos engineering team.