Who are RFD?
Founded in 1920, safety and survival experts RFD (Survitec) are the world’s largest manufacturer of inflatable liferafts. To maintain their position as global leader in maritime survival equipment they place a strong emphasis on customer focus, product excellence and technical innovation, thereby sharing the same core values as 4c Design.
RFD is a major player in the commercial liferaft market but at the time this project began they had failed to realise similar success in the leisure market. 4c were briefed to re-design RFD’s range of leisure liferaft cases with the objective of increasing RFD’s share of the leisure liferaft market.
4c Design carried out extensive research in order to understand user requirements, the functional requirements of the liferaft product and the features of competing products. This detailed research enabled us refine the brief given to us by RFD and resulted in a case design that was far more aesthetically pleasing, as well as more durable, functional and economical to produce.
The unexpected outcome from this project was the extent of the cost reduction achieved by 4c’s re-design. Initial estimates showed that the full project (including all design tooling costs) would pay for itself within the year. RFD put 4c’s new design into full production immediately.
Cyril Stocker, Group Project Director, talks through the design process and the impact of 4c’s liferaft re-design upon RFD (Survitec).