Learn how Waterford Start up Monkey Cups Ltd turned to SEAM to help solve a materials issue on their reusable coffee cup product.
After finalizing the design and signing off a prototype, mould’s were produced to enable the business scale up manufacturing. As with many organizations across Ireland, Monkey Cups initially turned to China to for the injection moulded lids. However, problems began to emerge as production began to scale. An issue related to consistency in size became apparent and there was an element of shrinkage from when the lids were tested at production stage to their arrival in Ireland. In addition there was an element of softening when the lids where exposed to boiling liquids.
Given that manufacturing was in China and subsequent production runs ended with similar results Monkey Cups Limited CEO Mailo Power turned to her local network to see if the problem could be resolved locally. The first part of the process was to establish what was causing the issue with the lids? Was it design based, material based or a mixture of both?
SEAM holds an impeccable track record of executing over 3000 direct funded industry projects since its launch in 2009. SEAM’s unique strength lies in its ability to anticipate, understand, respond quickly and professionally to industry needs by providing competitive customized solutions and, more importantly, act as a one-stop-shop for getting the job done. The team at SEAM were able to meet with the client and quickly set up a project and begin executing a series of material test and analysis.
SEAM carried out a series of tests and analysis on the material to try and assess the source of the issue. The work carried out at SEAM for Monkey Reusable Products was to develop an understanding of the material properties of three different coffee cup lids that may affect their stability at elevated temperatures such as those that occur when hot drinks are placed in the cups. This was of great importance in determining whether or not a particular lid would leak when a hot drink was placed in the cup. SEAM utilised a wide ranging analytical equipment to test the candidate lid materials.. The analysis determined the optimum material for the application would be a unfilled polypropylene and this was used in the final product.
After reflecting on the lessons and challenge of having production located in China, Monkey Cups Ltd made the decision to move the manufacturing process back to Ireland. Monkey Cups lids are now manufactured in Waterford by Marli Products Ltd., Monkey Cups are hand assembled and dispatched from their HQ in Waterford Airport Business Park. This allows them to maintain a high quality product and offer a customized service to clients.
“I was very impressed with knowledge, capability and equipment that SEAM had at its disposal. Having access to this resource and expert capability gave me a certain level of comfort that I needed, and I knew that I was on the right track to being able to pinpoint the issue and develop a solution”. Mailo Power CEO Monkey Cups Ltd