CASE STUDY | IBEX EZY TRIM Electric Motor

IBEX has built its reputation over 30 years by providing practical production solutions to the meat and food processing industries. IBEX is another proud New Zealand company that has succeeded internationally, despite fierce international competition.

THE PROBLEM

IBEX electric meat trimming motors and handpeices had been popular in the industry for many years, so IBEX had a good grasp of the market need along with the shortcomings of their existing electric motor design. They were keen to develop a next generation product, however they didn’t have design engineers inhouse that could take their extensive knowledge and turn that into a new product. 

The IBEX team’s substantial market and product knowledge formed the foundation of their plan to evolve the design of EZY TRIM electric motor. The new design had five key requirements:

  • Condensed form factor
  • Increased power and efficiency for continuous operation
  • Improved thermal management
  • Better sealing for washdown requirements
  • Increased aesthetic appeal
THE SOLUTION

IBEX engaged Caliber early in the project to assist with the product development process. Caliber’s task was to assist with industrial design, product design, and design for manufacture.  

The major challenge was managing the heat generated by the motor whilst achieving a watertight enclosure. This was tackled through holistic design where all materials and processes are selected with consideration of all the end goals in mind. Some key design decisions included:

  • An AC motor and matching power supply were selected for efficiency. This also allowed for a smaller unit and less heat generation.
  • Airflow for cooling of the motor and electronics was introduced, whilst preventing water ingress through the air passages via clever design.
  • A machined aluminium baseplate and motor mount were chosen to conduct heat away from the motor and electronics. This allowed for an integral compression seal that enables easy assembly and ensures a highly reliable seal.
  • Precision rotomolded front and rear covers allowed for an economic, robust, and aesthetically pleasing enclosure.

Caliber provided the design resource for the project, and support throughout the prototype and early manufacture phase, to ensure the specifications had been met and to help iron out any early manufacturing issues.

THE RESULT

Through clear and honest communication between IBEX and Caliber, a high quality and cost competitive product was developed. This result was achieved through minimal design iterations, bringing the product to market in five months from initial engagement.

IBEX EZY TRIM Electric Motor

Caliber Design were contracted by IBEX Industries to make improvements to our Electric Motor for the Trimming System. Right from the outset, it was easy to communicate with the team. Their understanding of our requirements in detail and their subject knowledge made the whole process easy. We worked under a tight time frame and the Engineers were able to provide IBEX with design solutions within the time frame. They were professional in their approach and delivered. Well done.

Krish Mukunth

Operations Manager, IBEX Industries