The Red Dot Award is an international design competition with categories ranging from robotic technology to vehicles and household aids. As one of the most prestigious awards in the design industry, the Red Dot is usually awarded to design companies. So why did IDM, a product manufacturing company, win four Red Dot Awards in 2022? We think it has a lot to do with our design philosophy, our talented team, and our proven processes.
Here are ten ways IDM’s process leads to better design and manufacturing:
At IDM, we bring an all-in approach to product strategy, design and manufacturing. That means it’s never only about manufacturing a product. We take ownership of every project we take on, acting as a strategic partner in ideation, design and creation.
Rather than thinking about the way a product looks on the outside first, we begin by thinking about how it works on the inside. We focus on the product and its end use, and then engineer a solution that optimizes every element of the design.
Our knowledge of manufacturing is a key piece in every product partnership. Before presenting any design to our clients, we consider how it will be manufactured. Our engineers take pride in figuring out the best way to produce every product, while keeping the design intact. After all, if you design something that can’t be manufactured, it’s art— not a product.
Understanding which components will comprise the product, what their functions are, and how they work together enables us to mold an architecture upon which we can develop concepts. We look at different configurations and determine the best solutions to enable the right design, without negatively affecting performance.
This doesn’t mean we’re difficult—simply that we take design seriously. We will never compromise a product’s design or functionality to cut costs or cut corners. Our clients are the same way. Because they set the bar high and seek perfection, we push designs as far as possible to achieve it. It’s about trade-offs – not compromises.
Authenticity of materials is important. In some cases, it might be more cost-effective to use a different material than originally specified, but if it affects the quality, performance or perception of the finished product, the cost savings may not be worth it.
Details matter. Scaling items to be compact, designing elegant lines, hiding visible screws, and painting over knit lines are all small details that add up to a well-executed design.
Speaking of scale, reproducibility matters, too. We design products with mass manufacturing in mind, understanding how products will be assembled and produced.
When working with an established brand, we pay attention to key elements of brand design, and ensure new products fit within the established look, feel, and standards.
We know our strengths—and we also value the strengths of others. By partnering with talented business owners, industrial designers, engineers and manufacturers, we are able to deliver high quality products that capitalize on the best expertise in the industry.
Each of our four Red Dot Award-winning products was designed with our key principles and philosophy in mind. Below are a few examples of how we put these principles into action. For photos and full descriptions of each product, check out our Red Dot Announcement. We would like to thank Biamp for continued partnership in designing and manufacturing each of these products.
This camera features a camera module with thermal characteristics that require cooling. Initially, it was requested that we make the camera 20% larger, to allow additional space for cooling. In order to stay true to the product’s tech-forward design without compromising performance, we took an aggressive approach to packaging and ultimately designed a camera that was identical to the originally proposed size. By using a combination of aluminum parts instead of plastics, we came up with a design that dissipated heat from the small form factor. Using an extrusion for the body of the camera and a die-cast piece for the front bezel allowed a compact, manufacturable and functioning camera.
The square shape is an important component of the Biamp brand. When we began designing this series of component boxes, we were challenged that they could not be square, and would have to be rectangular, due to the quantity of connectors required on each box. Our team took an innovative approach by stacking the connectors to maintain the square footprint. By keeping the square shape, we were able to preserve a more consistent look for the Biamp brand.
The solution for this product involved creating multiple versions to enable various configurations, including a wall-mounted version, tabletop version, hand controller, and gooseneck mic. We needed to adapt the product to each configuration, without completely changing the design. We worked from the inside out, first understanding how the design worked, and then identifying which components could be flexible to create each different SKU.
In designing and manufacturing these loudspeakers, we were tasked with maintaining specific acoustical properties, including a certain amount of volume, and a specific relationship between dimensions. The challenge was to scale the product to three different sizes, while enabling acoustically exceptional sound, and without changing the form factor. Our engineers and industrial designers were happy to rise to the challenge, with results that speak loud and clear.
Manufacturing, engineering and design work together well—and at IDM, our integrated manufacturing approach results in solutions that are well designed, and well made.
Let’s talk about how we can work together on your next manufacturing and design project.
Anne likes things neat and tidy. As an avid gardener, she knows a pristine landscape doesn’t happen by chance—there’s always someone pruning, watering, and tending to the details. Anne is that person for IDM. “I shape things,” she says, “often behind the scenes, to make sure we deliver what we promise.”
At IDM, Anne works to “make excellence a habit” by overseeing our ISO certification program. She also helps cultivate a culture focused on customer satisfaction—whether that “customer” is internal or external. With her self-described “relentless smile” and what Frank Lloyd Wright calls “an unremitting devotion to the things you want to see happen,” Anne keeps us alert, on our toes, and bringing our very best each day. “I love working with bright people who are passionate about what they do,” she says.
When she’s not digging in the dirt, you might find Anne nurturing her love of reading at the local library.