Monday, October 07, 2002

How to Over-Engineer a Mug

I guess I'm incredibly boring but I found this article really interesting:

"Making things flat is an Ikea obsession. How many times can you redesign a simple fired-clay coffee mug? Ikea's Bang mug has been designed three times so far -- simply to maximize the number of them that can be stored on a pallet. Originally, only 864 mugs would fit. A redesign added a rim such as you'd find on a flowerpot, so that each pallet could hold 1,280 mugs. Last year, yet another redesign created a shorter mug with a new handle, allowing 2,024 to squeeze onto a pallet. While the mug's sales price has remained at 50 cents, shipping costs have been reduced by 60 percent, which is a significant savings, given that Ikea sells about 25 million of the mugs each year. Even better, the cost of production at Ikea's Romanian factory has also fallen because the more compact mugs require less space in the kiln.",1640,43529,FF.html

Here's a picture of the mug in question:
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