More than 450 products carry the Amway name and every day, there’s work underway on new ones and improvements to those we already offer.
Ideas for those products come from scientists, researchers, marketers, Amway distributors, customers and other great minds. And many are brought to life at our Rapid Prototyping Center.
Mike Kelly, senior scientist for Durables Research and Development at Amway, says his job is to listen to people’s ideas and take them from a sketch or artist’s rendering to a 3D computer model and finally, to a working prototype.
“We think of ourselves as artisans. We build beautiful, functional things,” Mike explained. “We put a lot of attention to detail into every piece, even if it will end up inside of a product like an eSpring Water Purifier, where it will never be seen once it’s assembled.”
We do a lot of prototyping on-site, including machining, casting, and even labeling. We have help from machines, such as a Selective Laser Sintering one that uses a laser to melt nylon powder into the models we need. We work with pliable materials; rigid materials; we can paint; stain; drill; create in a variety of colors.
When we need help, we partner with the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE), a center for excellence in rapid prototyping. We’re part of a consortium with companies like Kohler and Harley Davidson that collaborate with MSOE on the science and practice of rapid prototyping.
Sometimes multiple prototypes are developed for a single product. For Artistry Crème Luxury/Creme LX, Mike says the lab created 22 iterations of the packaging, including everything from the miniature spatula to the retail display case. They were very proud of the results.
And so are we, just as we are of our Rapid Prototyping Center – the birthing center for Amway ideas.