What Dage saw in DesignEdge was an opportunity to take a fresh approach. What came out of it was the XiDAT XD7600, launched at Semicon West in California. At the exhibition Dage found that people were commenting on the looks of the XD7600. “It was good to have a product to show that’s a bit sexier than every other box on the factory floor,” says Paul Walter. “People were commenting on the looks then asking us to show them how it worked. Previously they would have just asked how it worked. We have exceeded our customers’ expectations with the XD7600 and have set the mark to which all others will be measured.”

Until very recently the external design wasn’t an important factor in the marketplace. Customers just wanted to know whether a product functionally did the job it was supposed to. No one worried about what it looked like, but now there’s much more emphasis on the external design, particularly in Europe. DesignEdge wasn’t so close to the old products, so their team could see the design process with a fresh pair of eyes. Looks aren’t everything, but they do help. It’s not like producing a car, where the design could double the market for a product, but the external design could certainly help us achieve another few percent. Whereas functionality and price were previously the only areas of interest, design definitely does come into it now when buyers are choosing products.”

Paul Walter | Managing Director | Nordson DAGE