Poor lid design, sub-standard materials and poor construction can let steam escape and prevent the kettle from turning off (and risk burning your customer with steam or spray).
Most designs rely on plastic levers to open and close latches that hold the lid shut. These sit below a lip at the top of the kettle body to hold the lid shut and when withdrawn, the lid is released.
The specification below provides the recommended improvements needed to improve product durability. Specifications are ranked from bronze to gold based on the effectiveness of the change in improving durability, with bronze being the minimum recommended.
Good design; suitable choice of types of plastic and quality; maintain production quality
Brands and major control suppliers, such as Otter and Stryx, routinely carry out kettle durability testing. Major control manufacturers also test control mechanisms and may provide kettle design advice and kettle testing services. This may be at no cost for high volume projects but there will be a charge for lower volumes.
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).
New design testing
Testing will identify fatal defects. Independent kettle design assessment and durability testing can be obtained free of charge from some manufacturers of kettle controls if sales volume are sufficiently high.
Good quality control and change control should be standard procedures in kettle factories. Your local technical team can monitor quality.
Specific grades of plastics
There will be an additional cost for using higher priced engineering polymers with superior performance at 100˚C but this should reduce early returns. Testing will confirm if durability is improved