Project

Sitemate Temporary Power Units

Sitemate Power Systems provides temporary portable power distribution solutions for construction, heavy industry and events. Sitemate Power Systems is part of the Eltrade Industries group of companies which has been supplying superior industrial power products to the Australasian market since 1974.

Deciding to capitalise on their expansive network and take ownership of their stock, the Sitemate range was the group’s first foray into the product development journey. After asking the industry what they wanted in portable power equipment the group set out to design and develop a superior product range specifically for the Australasian market.

Power Distribution Units range with cables and worklights
Sitemate Temporary Power Distribution Unit with cables plugged in

In March 2018 Sitemate Power Systems approached Blender to start developing their first Temporary Power Distribution unit: SM17. Sitemate needed to validate the demand for this new 63 Amp  Power Distribution Unit with the relevant stakeholder groups. Creating a full 1:1 scale painted foam mockup prototype allowed us to test the general volume, ergonomics and connector fitment of the design and enabled Sitemate to get the instant feedback they needed to continue the design development. Based on this feedback, Sitemate Power Systems decided a further two units, SM16 and SM7, needed to be developed in tandem alongside SM17 to cater for different customer needs.

Blender developed the design of all three units for rotational moulding as the preferred manufacture method, due to the expected sales volumes and tooling investment required. This included the design of mounting solutions and custom adapters to securely attach the various off the shelf connectors to the units while maintaining ingress protection and earthing. Blender worked with Sitemate Power Systems manufacturing partners to refine and optimise the designs for manufacturing.

Graphic design of all the labelling for the products was required – many of which fell under stringent industry standards. The Blender team created a unique set of labels for each unit that enhances the design, rather than detracting from it as an afterthought as depicted in many of the competing products. Further to this, label application documents were created alongside a full set of photorealistic renderings for Sitemate Power Systems to use in their sales catalogues and promotional material.

Sitemate temporary power distribution unit product design side view

The unique form language shared between the units has given Sitemate Power Systems a unique aesthetic and point of difference, in an industry where appearance is often an oversight.  Each rotational molded body is CNC trimmed to attach the relevant connectors, and is able to be configured into multiple SKUs or a custom solution for the customer. The mounting plate design inside the unit allows the industrial sockets to be replaced without opening the lid of the unit. The recessed pockets minimise potential damage to outlets and offer extra shelter from rainfall. All units have been designed to be stackable for storage and transportation. The dual handles allow for easy lifting and can also be used for cable management. The wide “splayed legs” of SM17 & SM16 minimise the risk of toppling with 85mm ground clearance for uneven terrain. Built-in anchoring points allow permanent fixing with concrete screws or dynabolts.  

Shortly after the development of their range of Temporary Power Reticulation Units, Sitemate realised there was an opportunity to create an additional base part that would elevate the powered units to the required height to oblige with Health and Safety requirements in NZ and AUS. Despite some competitors providing bases for their powered units, Sitemate saw that much of the industry was reverting to “DIY solutions” e.g. 2×4’s and nails to create their own stands. Sitemate decided to develop their own bespoke base, to ensure it was desirable, fit for purpose and offered additional benefits where possible.

Working around the original Sitemate units, the team ideated new form factors for the design in a linear fashion, moving from hand sketches, to 2D cardboard mockups, all the way through to a full scale foam CNC model that the team could mount the SM units on for testing.

The unique form language shared between the Sitemate units was mirrored in the design of the base to ensure a consistent family design language.  In-mold brass inserts in each corner mount the SM17 or SM16 securely to the base, with an external top lip to stop units falling off while assembling. Each rotational molded body is fully enclosed to prevent spiders and snakes making the unit their homes and ensuring water-tightness. The dual handles allow for easy lifting and the wide splayed legs minimise the risk of toppling. Built-in anchoring points allow permanent fixing with concrete screws or dynabolts. A removable tray integrated into the base provides extra on-site storage.

After two years of development, the Sitemate units were released alongside a full range of accessories. Working with Blender has enabled Sitemate to take ownership of the products they sell – while increasing internal education and know-how about the product development process.

power distribution unit on base with storage tray and cables plugged in

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