Category Archive: Culinary Appliances

Prevention Invention

Customer: Burner Alert, NJ
Industry: Household Products

A Gentle Reminder.
Anyone with a gas stove has probably had the scary experience of realizing that they have left the stove burner on. Unlike today’s refrigerators that call you back to the room when you have left the door ajar, most gas burners provide no indication that they are still on. A simple mistake could lead to a deadly fire in your home.

Matthew Porraro came to Sigma Design with a solution to prevent kitchen fires. Porraro invented a plastic disc that attaches to each knob on the stove, which illuminates when the burner is on. Sigma Design took his initial design and prototype and improved it, integrating a light circuit and an audible alarm.
BurnerAlert™ is the only reminder and timer product on the market that will retrofit on gas and electric stoves.

This is just one example of the projects that come to the Sigma Design team. Like BurnerAlert™, let us take your smart idea and turn it into a viable product!

Services Performed:
Concept layouts, LED light design, sound and light sequence simulation, detail design, firmware programming, digital electronics, product development, testing & prototypes.

Service Menu

A Mechanical Butter Churn

Customer: Churncraft LLC, CT
Industry: Housewares
Sub Heading: A Better Butter Churn

Artisan Butter – Local Food.
A well-worn, antique butter churn was the inspiration for this family business. The client fondly recalled the process of making butter as a child using the family’s butter churn. Sigma Design Company was hired to create a modern, mechanical butter churn that would be skillfully engineered for superior functionality and sleek design. Even the simplest product can require dozens of challenging manufacturing decisions. Matching the client’s vision for an elegant product with the realities of manufacturing methods and food safety drove the design process.
For more info:
Sigma designed and manufactured the prototype.

Services Performed:
Concept Layouts, User Interface and Ergonomics, Aesthetics, Simulation, Product Development, Material Selection, Detail Part Design, Manufacturing Review.

Service Menu

Mobile Water Cart

Customer: WaterStop Carts, NYC
Industry: Food and Beverage

Mobile Water Cart Provides a Green Alternative to Bottled Water: 36 Ounces of Water Are Needed to Produce One 12-ounce Plastic Water Bottle.
Nan Harris CEO of WaterStop Carts approached Sigma Design to develop a new mobile water distribution technology. WaterStop Carts are mobile water filtering units that transform municipal, recycled, reclaimed, and desalinated water to the taste and purity of bottled water. With refillable cups and containers instead of manufactured plastic water bottles, WaterStop Carts are an environmentally sound way to distribute water. The tank on each WaterStop Cart holds 50 gallons, the equivalent of 400 16 oz. bottles of water. Each refill generates a savings of 100 gallons of water used in the manufacturing and distribution of bottled water. This 4-minute video of the prototype WaterStop cart shows how it works.

Sigma is the manufacturer of the WaterStop Cart. We will be developing a second generation cart which will also serve as a WiFi Hot Spot to better connect students and communities to the world via internet.

Services Performed:Water purification technology development, electrical power and controls design, food safety review, mechanical system design, fabricating, testing and validation.

Service Menu

Not Chicken To Take On Complex FEA

Customer: Point of Use Display Manufacturer, NJ
Industry: Food and Beverage

Serving Safe Chicken: Meeting FDA Requirements for Safe Food Holding Temperatures

How much heat does it take to keep food safe for consumption? Sigma used its advanced engineering skills to answer this question. A New Jersey-based company asked Sigma to analyze their warming tray prototype by performing a heat power analysis and thermal FEA on the heater element and control circuit.

The tray is designed to keep rotisserie chickens at a safe internal temperature of 140°F and breakfast sandwiches at a slightly lower temperature, determined by a high and low setting that is set by an operator’s switch.

Step one was to determine the steady state heat power requirements to keep the chicken at temperature by using hand calculations. Then a simplified FEA was run to verify that it matched the hand calculations.

Step two was to source heater elements that match the power requirements found in the hand and FEA calculations from the previous steps. The final step was to determine a control circuit to keep the surface temperature of the plate as constant as possible, meeting the FDA requirements for safe holding temperatures.

Services Performed:
Concepts, heat load FEA simulation, detail design, electronics, ServSafe food safety, product development, testing

Service Menu