Kenyon Wins a DAME

Gyre9 is proud and excited to announce Kenyon’s win of the DAME award for their SilKEN2 Induction Cooktop at the 2014 Marine Equipment Trade Show [METS] in Amsterdam. According to the design competition’s jurors “Kenyon has brought a sophisticated and aesthetically pleasing touch control induction cooktop into the marine world”. Special praise was given to the cooktops clever power and heat management as well as the high temperature cooking grade silicone mat that provides a high grip surface for pans when in use, stops the cooktop from getting scratched and is easy to clean following food preparation.Kenyon2

The SilKEN2 won first place in the category of Interior Equipment, Furnishing, Materials and Electrical Fittings used in Cabins. The cooktop was 1 of only 6 products in a field of 116 product entries from 23 countries that were recognized by the design jury. Kenyon’s president Phil Williams says the DAME is “the highest award for design you can win in the marine industry”. Phil credits Gyre9 for their thoughtful approach to the design of the user interface as well their dedication and commitment in developing a feature rich product and exclusive hardware and software providing his company a competitive position in the marketplace.

METS, held annually in Amsterdam, is the world’s largest Marine Equipment Trade Show; the only international B2B exhibition for the marine leisure industry. The Design Award METS (DAME) was initiated in 1991 to recognize the best designed product at the METS (Marine Equipment Trade Show) exhibition. As the world’s number one international design competition for new marine equipment and accessories the DAME has enormous industry prestige and a worldwide commercial impact. To win the DAME is the ultimate accolade for companies and innovators, and all the nominations for the award are seen as trendsetters for the next generation of product development. The aim of the competition is to promote and highlight the total use of design throughout a product’s lifecycle, from conception, to manufacturing and end user experience. The Jury also considers overall impact on the marine industry, suitability for intended purpose, the level of innovation, the product’s cost effectiveness and its environmental impact.


In Response to Tesla’s Patent Release

Having previously worked for Brammo, INC., I take a particular interest in the developments in the Electric Vehicle (EV) market. Tesla, a major player in the four-wheeled market, released all competitors to use their technology in good faith. Historically this would have been viewed as commercial suicide, however Tesla is in a position which makes this a bit more interesting.

One might expect for the major OEMs in the Plug in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) world to copy the newly available technology. Another option is for startups to latch on, and use the lessons that Tesla has already learned to accelerate their development schedule. Either option has potential to be beneficial to Tesla, as new entries into the EV market will serve to validate their product. Competition can be welcomed in emerging markets, or even encouraged.

The door has been opened to more entries in the field, all of which can likely perform at a higher level than they would have achieved without this allowance. Public opinion will improve as the market becomes more saturated with functional everyday use EVs. Tesla has the head start necessary to maintain a relatively dominant position in the marketplace, but the market itself had been lacking.Tesla2

It’s an interesting perspective, now that I’m working at Gyre9 in the world of consulting Engineering & Design. We are frequently working with relative startups, sometimes adding an incremental product into a market that exists, other times not. Nearly universally though, the clients have concerns about protecting their IP.

On the occasions when the market doesn’t really exist yet, there’s certainly some extra caution taken to understand why, how, when, and where the product would be used. Usually the client has done the preliminary research, but Gyre9 will still take a round of working out the use cases. The group here has a varied background, with many different interests outside of work, which means someone in the room has experience with a similar category of item more often than one would expect.

Gyre9 aims to produce the best designs possible in a given market, to give clients that competitive edge.

Could your product benefit from additional competition? It’s a strange concept, but Elon Musk seems to think that it could if you’re the leader in a small market.


I’m coming home, I’m coming home… tell the world I’m coming home.

More and more US companies are performing cost-benefit analysis of overseas vs. domestic manufacturing. Experts agree that reshoring is a growing trend, but there is no single justification. Many factors are influencing companies to reevaluate their supply chain and understand the true cost of outsourcing. Agility, high operational costs such as labor, and quality management are just a few of contributors that CEOs are pointing to as a reason to come home.

Companies who choose to produce in the US can be more nimble, carry less inventory, and react quicker to shifting markets or trends. Consequently, clothing manufacturing in particular is starting to see an uptick in domestic production. More sophisticated manufacturing techniques available here are making US apparel factories more competitive.

Labor may still be less in China, but production demands are often solved by additional workers instead of employing automation to reduce labor time. The net cost of labor is then not so dissimilar. Labor is also becoming a smaller percentage of total cost as expenses such as shipping increase. There are a number of other ancillary operation costs, like overhead, corporate strategy as well as other internal and external business costs now being considered part of the equation.

Managing consistency and quality can take its toll on smaller companies who have no choice but to send key personnel to deal with issues. This time out of the office and extra travel days required of the distance is taken away from critical revenue producing activities. But if these issues are not dealt with then opportunity cost due to delivery and quality (lost orders, slow response, and unsatisfied customers) will have a bigger impact on the bottom line.

Considering coming home? Then it is a good time to partner with a design company that is experienced in US manufacturing and the strategies for navigating domestic sourcing and component cost challenges. Gyre9’s team has worked with a number of small and medium-sized companies, who have successfully produced and profited from products made right here in the US.


Maclaren Rolls-out the MARK II

Maclaren, world-renowned producer of baby strollers, used the original design brief from its very first buggy as inspiration for its next

generation stroller, the Mark II. With modern materials and engineering, they created the lightest full-featured buggy on the market.

To tackle this feat, Maclaren needed some design and engineering creativity to elevate the user experience and aesthetics. Gyre9 was called in to help! Our team designed a simple but powerful wheel that is not only visually appealing, but by incorporating closed-cell rubber technology, provides the soft ride of a pneumatic tire without the maintenance.

Gyre9 was also tasked with modernizing the grips to compliment the Mark II’s distinctive frame and to give the user a whole new handle on the buggy’s performance. In an industry first, we designed the grips to be built with super soft and lightweight closed-cell foam. They are not only antimicrobial, but also nine times more durable than ordinary grips.

To learn more about this project and others with Maclaren please visit our portfolio


Morning Edition Features ReadyDock

Leading the battle on hospital-associated infection, ReadyDock offers health institutions a system for disinfecting handheld technology that has become ubiquitous in patient care. Tablet computers are now at every doctor’s finger tips. And also on those finger tips lurks bacteria that can more easily be spread from patient to caregiver to patientReadyDock-NPR3 via these devices. In some cases the tablets are even shared with patients to present information.

In the future, hospitals such as St. Francis in Harford, will need to consider tablets and phones as medical instruments that must be thoroughly cleansed between uses. ReadyDock, with the help of Gyre9’s creative thinkers, believe a solution is already at hand. Check out the story featured on

See more at: