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ErgoMix™ Hand Mixer: Modernizing a Kitchen Staple

ErgoMix® Hand Mixer: Modernizing a Kitchen Staple ErgoMix® Hand Mixer: Modernizing a Kitchen Staple

different designs of the ergomix hand mixerHow do you improve on a classic kitchen appliance like the hand mixer that’s gone relatively unchanged since its invention? With over a century of experience creating small appliances designed to make cooking easier and more enjoyable, the engineers, industrial designers and product managers of Hamilton Beach were up for the challenge.

Sometimes to solve a problem, you’ve got to go back to the drawing board. Again. And again. And again. That’s exactly what our team did when we decided that we could improve the ergonomics of the traditional hand mixer. We didn’t set out to completely revolutionize the hand mixer, and yet the ErgoMix™ Hand Mixer doesn’t look – or rather, feel – like any mixer you’ve used yet.

Starting from Scratch
After many hours spent observing people use hand mixers in a typical kitchen setting, one thing was clear: the ergonomics of the traditional hand mixer had room for improvement. When using a traditional mixer, users would frequently need to tilt their mixing bowl in order to get the best results; they would hold their elbows up in a high, awkward position; and they would pronate their wrists, leading to soreness. drawing of an bent wrist with painFurthermore, when it was time to switch speeds, subjects were often unable to reach the controls without readjusting their hands. No other product on the market addressed all of those issues, so we set out to change that.

Rigorous Testing for Product Perfection
“There’s always a lot of research and testing that goes into developing a new product,” said Yvonne Olson, Senior Director of Product Marketing. “But when you realize you need to completely reinvent something people have been using already for years, there’s going to be a lot of extra time spent evaluating what isn’t working and why before you can even begin working on the solution.”

drawing of wrist in correct alignment using a hand mixerOur Richmond, Virginia-based team explored multiple designs before creating working prototypes with the help of a 3-D printer. We had users test the prototypes out and then interviewed them on their overall experience. Their feedback proved crucial to helping out team further narrow down their design options. Once a body shape had been selected that proved to be the most ergonomic, our engineers had to redesign the electrical components to make sure they would fit the new shape. Finally, the ErgoMix™ Hand Mixer had come to fruition.

The Finished Product
After setting out to make hand mixing more comfortable for consumers, we completely reinvented the mixer. Its new shape feels comfortable and familiar and helps the user keep their wrist in a neutral position to minimize arm and wrist stress and prevent soreness. It also offers more mixing control, since the control dial is located in a spot where the user doesn’t need to readjust their hand to reach the dial. A mixing guide is printed on the back for quick reference, making it easy to know what speed to select depending on the task.

Additionally, a powerful DC motor was selected because it could provide a slow start and slower first speed to reduce splatter and mess. ergomix hand mixer designs in various stagesWhen it’s time for cleanup, the stainless steel twisted wire beaters or whisk can be removed quickly using the easy eject button.

“We are confident that once people try the ErgoMix™ Hand Mixer, they’ll appreciate the changes we made to the traditional hand mixer,” Yvonne Olson said. “We’re looking forward to the redesigned shape and mechanics of the ErgoMix™ Hand Mixer becoming the new standard.”

ergomix hand mixer mixing cookie dough

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