Midas Provide Tooling for Radical New Street Furniture

Thanks to our expertise in the field of roto mould tooling, Midas has completed another project of which we are very proud. Our tooling has been used for new ‘twin bins’, designed to be used by local authorities. We undertook the challenge of making the tooling for the four mouldings, working in close partnership with the product designer, ensuring effective communication and rapid implementation of modifications when required.

It is never easy to take an entirely fresh look at products that have been in existence for decades, and the humble litter bin is no exception. However, when a street furniture specialist won a contract from a local authority in early 2010 to produce litter bins, the remit was to “reinvent the concept”. The selected concept focused on a durable yet attractive twin bin with an elliptical shape. Dual apertures in both sides of the bin encouraged the possibility of public recycling.

As the furniture company’s product development manager was already at full stretch in terms of workload, he took the role of technical adviser for the project. It was recommended that a local design house supported the new design and Midas was chosen to implement the tooling for production. The design house commented that it was reassuring to have a toolmaker such as Midas on board, with our extensive knowledge in this area. 

The end client wanted the design to emphasise recycling, but at the same time, the bin had to be eye-catching, practical and cost-effective to manufacture. Furthermore, they wanted the first mouldings to be ready for a sustainability exhibition taking place in London.

Rotational moulded plastic parts are perfectly suited to large, rugged items where strength and size are a key factor but finish and tolerances are not as critical. Our talented engineers used 3D CAD data to design the tooling and then produce master pattern equipment using CNC technology. This was then finished by our traditional patternmakers.

The new twin bin consisted of a main L-shape polyethylene body moulding and a further three mouldings making up the elliptically shaped top and two doors on the front.

Our team produced high-quality and durable cast aluminium tools which contained many moving parts such as clamps and insert holders. All phases throughout tool manufacture were carried out by our in-house skilled patternmakers and toolmakers.

As with many short lead-time projects, tooling manufacture took place concurrently with the ongoing evolution of the product design. While many of the tweaks were fairly minor, a rapid response from Midas was required. Despite the fact that a final set of modifications were requested just two weeks before the exhibition in London, the first six moulding sets were produced and assembled in time for the show, where the iconic design of the new twin bin was extremely well received. Subsequently, the client requested in the region of 300-500 units in the first 12 months.

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