The Customer’s request
‘Can TRICAS develop a device based on our microwave technology that allows consumers to prepare scrambled eggs within a minute?
That was the question a client put to us in 2017,’ says Raymond van den Brink, Operational Director at TRICAS. ‘The question stemmed from rapidly changing needs. Consumers today expect products such a scrambled egg to be available quickly. This is why TRICAS developed the Scrambled Eggcheff, a device that meets and even exceeds expectations.’
Consumer needs often stem from trends.
For example, consumers today expect products such a scrambled egg, just like a cup of coffee from a vending machine, to be prepared and served quickly. In fact, scrambled egg is the perfect addition to the menu in hotels and gas stations where people stop for quick food consumption. Our client wants a portion of scrambled egg to be prepared on the spot quickly, freshly and especially for the customer. Normally it would take a while for scrambled egg to be cooked in bulk on a griddle, after which you can scoop up your own portion. Quickly preparing a single serving on the spot gives the customer the perception that the scrambled egg is fresher.
For our client we are developing a device that will allow consumers to safely and quickly prepare a customized portion of scrambled egg, based on the microwave technology he developed. In addition to the time aspect, the machine’s industrial design must match the expected usage environment and comply with the hygiene regulations that apply in the usage environment.
TRICAS takes on the challenge of converting the process of preparing a scrambled egg based on the supplied microwave technology into a functional and safe device for commercial usage.
During our research we continuously work together with our client, so that together we can translate the proven preparation process into a manufacturable and easy to maintain and clean device with the desired industrial design.
During the research stage, we take into account several aspects. For example, the cooking process of the egg mix must take place simultaneously with the stirring of the scrambled eggs. We also research the interaction between the consumer and the device. What does the final product look like? How does the appliance serve the scrambled eggs? And how do consumers wish to operate the device?
In addition, safety is an important aspect within our research. The moving parts and the opening and closing of the device must not pose a safety risk to the consumer or the hospitality entrepreneur. In addition, the microwave technology used in the device must comply with radiation legislation.
The device consists of many sub-functions of mechanics and electronics that we design and test.
Based on the requirements, we choose initial ideas for the different functions from a morphological study. From this design method we make a selection of Proof of Principles. Finally, we base the solutions of the sub-functions on these Proof of Principles, the available budget and the time ambitions.
We want to ensure that the cooking process of the egg mix occurs simultaneous to the stirring of the scrambled egg. Therefore, we come up with the idea of automatically adding a stirring stick to the cup with egg mix during the preparation process via a mechanism from a magazine that guarantees a consistent stirring motion. As soon as the scrambled egg is prepared, the stirring stick detaches from the mechanism and remains in the cup. The consumer then takes the cup out of the device and can use this stick as a spoon/fork to consume the scrambled egg.
We develop a functional prototype which could be tested at TRICAS and at the client’s premises.
The client then tests the product concept with consumers in hotels and demonstrates the machine at an internationally renowned hospitality trade fair.
Based on extensive testing with consumers, we work with the client to put together the final version of a device that is both functional and safe and that can be used in the commercial preliminary stage.
‘Our project has led to a constructive and, for our client, necessary step towards manufacturability,’ says Raymond van den Brink of TRICAS.
‘The Scrambled Eggcheff prepares scrambled egg as desired within a minute. The beautiful design of the device blends into the user environment and the intuitive user interface we developed matches consumer preferences.’
‘With the Scrambled Eggcheff, our client can respond to new consumer needs and exceed expectations. We have developed a fast, on-demand self-service solution that allows consumers to enjoy a minute-made food product instantly.’