The specification below provides the recommended improvements needed to improve product durability. They are ranked from bronze to gold based on the effectiveness of the change in improving durability, with bronze being the minimum and gold being the maximum.
Drum paddles to be made of a strong polymer (e.g. ABS); screw head accessible; specified for 1,300 wash cycles
Paddles securely fixed to drum; specified to 1,800 cycles
Paddles integral part of steel drum; specified to 2,300 cycles
Look at how the paddles are attached. Look for loose paddles or any movement when force applied.
Ask for clear evidence of requirements listed above, e.g.: technical specifications, drawings, photographs; test data (ideally from an independent test house), quality control data.
* Drum paddles and attachment to the drum on 10 randomly selected production machines, to be tested without loosening, separation, cracking or other failure in 100% of cases. Test to be for the full number of test cycles specified, on a 40 degree cotton cycle, with a mixed clothing load of 50% of the maximum weight and to encompass the highest spin speed. Details of the actual test method is to be declared.
Improved reliability of components can reduce early returns and improve brand reputation which, in turn, can lower business costs and increase long-term sales.
To calculate overall cost savings for your business, use the WRAP cost/benefit analysis tool (currently in draft form and available on request).
Specifying a stronger polymer for paddles
The use of a stronger polymer (e.g. ABS) should add only a few pence or tens of pence to the unit cost assuming no (or minimal) tooling change is required.
Use of screws and bolts to retain plastic paddles
Surface mount and conformal coatings will increase life and reliability of PCBs.
Drum paddles integral to steel drum pressing
Changing the profile of the steel drum may require new tooling if an off the shelf option isn’t available. If all tooling needs replacing this can be a high unit cost, depending on the quantities being produced.