Advance Appliances are manufacturers and distributors of hot water storage products for the UK plumbing and Heating Industry. Their current client base is made up of Heating Installers, Plumbing Merchants and OEM’s (Original Equipment Manufacturer), all being B2B sales. Advance Appliances manufacture a range of thermal stores, heat pump cylinders, buffers and electric boilers; all hot water storage units are designed by the company to which they add the pipe sets and components to produce the finished article. All their products have third party accreditations such as WRAS (Water Regulations Advisory Scheme) and CE Marking. In addition to the manufacturing side, Advance Appliances also offer parts and spares. All their products are also available for purchase through their online shop.
Working on product innovation, their focus was new product development of Plug and Glow – a mini electric boiler, and they sought assistance from Manufacturing Growth Programme to take the design to the next stage and launch it into the marketplace. The desired outcome from this project and impact on the business long term will be an increase in turnover of approx. £200K.
The specific product they have developed is a mini electric boiler suitable for boosting existing systems or running stand-alone highly insulated apartments etc, as well as home extensions like conservatories.
This product offers an improved margin which can be achieved by investing in lower cost components. We identified the fascia of the product enclosure as an area where significant aesthetic improvement could be made alongside a significant reduction in manufacturing cost using injection moulding.
The product has been launched and a new brand extension has been developed and launched.
The team worked with the design department of Wolverhampton University to arrive at a design for the new fascia, and had a number of days support at the University FOC and worked with a tool maker to develop a suitable mould for plastic injection, for which they were supported via Economic Growth Solutions and the Manufacturing Growth Programme with a Capital grant, with a financial contribution towards the tooling cost.