Hot Water Cylinders Standing Strong

STUBBY STAND   |   HOT WATER CYLINDER STAND

Stubby Stand is the latest innovation in hot water cylinder stands. Proudly designed and manufactured right here in New Zealand to solve a very real problem that plumbers and builders face every day.

EXPERTISE

  • Industrial Design
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Prototyping
  • Design for Manufacture
  • Manufacturing Support
  • Production Tooling

CHALLENGE

Revolutionalising cylinder installation.

Auckland Plumber, Brett Stubbing saw an opportunity to develop a lightweight, pre-fabricated stand for hot water cylinders. Traditionally, hot water cylinders are mounted on stands built from framing timber and plywood by a builder. This is both time-consuming and costly if not done properly and increases the number of tradesmen required per install.

Brett approached Blender to help him develop his idea of creating a pre-fabricated stand made of plastic to provide plumbers with a cost-effective, easy to install, and lightweight off-the-shelf solution. The challenge centered around engineering a plastic assembly to hold almost half a tonne of weight whilst meeting all other plumbing standards and ensuring compatibility with traps and tundishes.

APPROACH

A streamlined development program from proof of concept to manufacturing.

As this was Brett’s first experience with product development, Blender guided him through the process of validating his product offering through design discovery. Key value propositions and customer requirements were distilled from a breadth of user research and formulated into concepts to be further developed through detailed engineering. Brett’s product needed to be strong, easy to install, reliable, but also space efficient, cost effective, and lightweight – qualities which were often competing with one another. In particular, extensive engineering was undertaken and validated through Finite Element Analyses (FEAs) to ensure the product would withstand the immense load it would be under – and for a protracted period of a few decades at the least.

Furthermore, setting up an international supply chain is also no mean feat. To aid Brett in this process, we helped procure a toolmaker and molder through our extensive supply network, oversaw the production and quality control of the tool and tooled parts, and established a local manufacturing operation for Stubby Stands.

SOLUTION

Hot solution to cylinder installation.

The result was a robust plastic assembly consisting of a base and a tray, weighing a little over 3kg, but rated to hold over 400 kg. The assembly includes a preformed hole for a tundish, sufficient ground clearance for space saver traps, and is fully compliant with AS/NZS 3500.

The solution is easy to install with no building materials required. Simply place the durable polypropylene tray in the right spot and the cylinder can be put on top and plumbed in without the fuss of having to build a stand. Fully installed, the Stubby Stand is unobtrusive and is a tidy solution with a minimalist style.

Since launching in early 2023, The Stubby Stand has been out-selling expectations and is widely available at major plumbing merchants across New Zealand. This simple product is helping plumbers and builders and ultimately their clients, save time and money. Brett and Blender continue to collaborate on refining the product, with future iterations already in progress.