Why Stainless? KOZ

Posted 31st July 1993

A new product design company, KOZ Functional Art will shortly be launching a bath ware series called "Bath Art" made entirely from stainless steel

KOZ's mission is to design and manufacture distinctively Australian innovative domestic wares - "Functional Art". The name expresses our design commitment to quality and the integration of meaning, aesthetics and function. KOZ's research found that stainless steel is an ideal material for the Bath Art application because of its durability , low maintenance, design flexibility and ease of manufacture. The Bath Art range comprises four products - shower caddy, soap holder, toothbrush and tumbler stand and spare toilet roll holder.

Throughout development of the range KOZ has been determined to manufacture from stainless steel and do so in Australia in spite of much opinion from industry that this was not possible, on both counts.

A new firm with a long learning curve ahead, KOZ contacted the Australian Stainless Steel Development Association to find out how ASSDA could assist.

KOZ required manufacturers for its designs who could produce high quality wire and spinning fabrications from stainless steel in short runs in Brisbane. KOZ also required information on material supply for some illusive components.

ASSDA was able to draw on the experience and knowledge of members to provide lists of potential fabricators and an offer of introductions from which a fabricator has been found. ASSDA was also able to provide a list of materials and component suppliers both from within and without the Association where necessary. The advice was prompt and enabled KOZ to get on with the manufacturing business. Of great surprise was that the entire process could be achieved in Brisbane.

The free form design of Bath Art products requires a different aptitude than is usual for traditional wire work and the results of product development have been pleasing for KOZ and we believe for the fabricator as well. All the products have been fabricated from type 304 stainless steel wire in gauges ranging from 1mm to 6mm. Primarily joining has been achieved by resistance welding, through a small amount of TIG welding is also incorporated. Following fabrication the products are electropolished to a bright chrome-like finish.

KOZ has tested products for saleability in pilot arrangements with local retailers. This has resulted in orders beyond KOZ's current ability to produce, a situation rapidly being addressed.

For KOZ and Bath Art the future looks promising.

The Australian Stainless Steel Development Association has provided a short-cut along the learning curve for KOZ, enabling our designs to be rapidly placed in production with a minimum of expenditure and heart-ache. For many designers the gap between good design and an excellent product is wide. The service provided by ASSDA has been invaluable in helping KOZ bridge the gap.

Roger Simpson of the Design Institute of Australia stated earlier this year that only those Australian manufacturers with forward thinking that focus on the longer term, develop new strategies and high quality products who will effectively compete in the world market and succeed in the 1990's. I am happy to be working with some of them. I firmly believe that organisations like ASSDA are essential in fostering and facilitating the development of such companies within the stainless steel industry.

Written by Julia Lembryk, Designer, KOZ Functional Art.
This article featured in Australian Stainless Magazine - Issue 1, July 1993.

Lissel Pilcher