Thermotray is an innovative household appliance consisting of a food dome and tray made from stainless steel, specially designed to preserve warm meals without any need to reheat them. Along with the increase of commuters in urban cities, people often come home to see the meals that have been served by their family have gone cold and they need to heat the meals. From a survey we made, 78 from 100 housewives heat their meals more than twice a day while heating consumes a lot of energy either from electricity or fossil, aside of it is costly and time consuming.
Thermotray can preserve heat in warm meals for six hours and is cheaper than usual microwave by 38%. This product is designed using thermos working principle to prevent contact between the inner systems (food) with its environment and to prevent heat transfer by conduction, convection, and radiation. Thermotray incorporates the application of thermos working principle on a set of food dome and the tray to keep the food temperature, large product dimensions to accommodate various types of food, and the usage of steam retention silicon rubber in between to secure their position and preserve heat.
Thermotray is made from three main components which are made from two kinds material: four 1mm x 1220mm x 1220mm stainless steel sheet, a 69mm x 130mm x 20mm handle and a 2011mm (diameter) rubber. It is manufactured by nine steps which use high and sophisticated machinery, which consecutively are Stamping, Forming, Cutting, Welding, Vacuum Processing, Grinding, Polishing and the last is Packaging. Between polishing and packaging, there is an assembly work station which is done manually. The first seven steps will be done to make the food dome and tray from stainless steel sheet, while the handle will be added in welding operation and the rubber in assembly operation.
Total production and marketing cost for Thermotray is USD 37 and with 13% margin, the price of Thermotray is USD42. There are three products will be used as benchmark which are 4L capacity food container priced USD28, thermos food jar with 2L capacity priced USD18, and a vacuum insulated leak-proof food jar with 1.4L capacity priced USD22. Thermotray has a higher price but comes with a bigger capacity.
This idea will be suitable to be applied in society with high commuter numbers such as America, Japan, Indonesia, and China. In such countries, people work in a different place from their house so it will take several times to get back home. Thus, the market potential is domestic mothers with medium to high income, living near highly populated cities with commute family members.
This design is very easy to use even for adolescents and elders. All the user needs to do is place their warm meals on the tray, close the food dome which is extra sealed with rubber lid and they are good to go until the time they want to eat the warm meals. The outer surface from Thermotray won’t be heated and it’s safe to be touched.