Full-service build that exceeded aesthetic, functionality, and cost goals

Balayage palette for professional hair color brand

Nelson Miller showcased its broad scope of capabilities in the creation of a sleek new balayage palette for use in the beauty industry. Our customer relied on NMG to bring their new product to life: including everything from design and engineering, all the way to certification, manufacturing, and packaging. The end result was a full-service build employing a number of manufacturing techniques and satisfying timing, cost, aesthetic, and functional requirements.

The company

A leading professional hair color brand that brings stylists cutting-edge products, including color, styling products, and salon color tools.

The product

A new balayage palette with a heating element, removal reservoir, power button, and charging station.

The industry


Manufactured components 

PCBA structure, LED RGB indicators, sensors, charging pins, o-rings, screws and plastic plugs, power button silicon, overlay adhesives, multiple IM plastic parts, heater, heat cover, lightguide, and wiring. 

Beauty industry - box build product
box build manufacturer beauty tech
A woman looking into a mirror

Results at a glance

Resolution of complex design and engineering challenges

An arrow around a blue dollar sign representing cost reduction

Cost optimization

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Access to manufacturing capabilities

Quality gains

New value-added features

speed to market - Accelerated delivery time

Accelerated delivery time

icon with arrow and three circles representing complexity reduction

Complexity reduction

The challenge

New product requiring design, manufacturing, assembly, and packaging

  • Initial concept communicated for the desired palette, but customer had no design or drawing. 
  • Customer specialized in hair coloring and haircare products and lacked manufacturing and engineering expertise necessary for the product. 
  • Balance between an ergonomic design (the palette is hand-held by the stylist) and the need to fit all components within the device (functional requirements left fairly little space for the heating element, lighting, battery, etc.). 
  • Very aggressive timetable. 
  • Palette needed to be sleek and modern, with good aesthetics, to match the look and feel of the customer’s brand. 
  • Expectation for the majority of the palette to be heated, which caused cost challenges.  
  • Charger had to hold the palette at a specific angle to avoid spillage of the dye.
  • All electronic components needed to be sealed within the device to avoid damage from water and other external factors. 

The solution

NMG provided engineering and manufacturing services for form, fit, and function.

The final product is an assembly of custom parts, designed, manufactured, and assembled solely by NMG: 

  • Injection molded (IM) plastic handle, including:
    • Circuitry
    • Metal actuators for charging
    • O-ring to close off from outside
  • Power button and indicator lights:
    • Plastic housing
    • PCBA with status RGB LEDs
    • Translucent rubber layer
    • Light blocking layer
    • Flexible rubber base
  • IM plastic body and heating element:
    • Plastic overlay
    • Overlay adhesive
    • Circuit retainer
    • Circuit layer
    • Adhesive
    • Backing
  • IM plastic reservoir that can snap into indentations on either side of the body
  • IM plastic charging base:
    • Molded symbols in plastic
    • Standard AC cord
  • Packaging:
    • Folding carton
    • User manual 

Engineering expertise

  • Developed a sophisticated power management system using an integrated circuit/IC with a sensor that turns the heater off automatically once it reaches a maximum temperature and turns it back on when temperature gets too low, enabling the device to maximize battery efficiency and eliminating the risk of overheating. 
  • Created logic for the indicator lights to coordinate with the power management. 
  • Designed the location of the split down the middle of the handle to allow for seamless assembly of the battery and electronics, etc., as well as to protect the interior components from water or other damage (IP65).
  • Overcame space constraints in fitting all required components within the handle and body. 

Commitment to functionality, aesthetics, and ergonomics 

Made several design modifications that impacted functionality, aesthetics, and costs: 

  • Reduced size and repositioned heating element to ensure successful heating of most of the palette and to avoid very costly initial concept.  
  • Designed an interchangeable reservoir that can snap onto to either side (original concept had reservoir affixed on each side, which was bulky and more costly). 
  • Offered several options for shaping/treating the handle to ensure it wasn’t too bulky; final design incorporated a flat handle with a wavy, textured finish to ensure a streamlined look while maintaining a good grip for the user. 
  • Simplified the charging process for the user, creating a locator within the charging dock with spring-actuated copper pieces to initiate charging when the palette is placed on the charger (rather than plugging it in).
  • Designed box layout and graphics to match aesthetic requirements from a packaging standpoint. 

End-to-end support

Our full-service approach simplified communications, streamlined production, maximized cost savings, and expedited the go-to-market timeline: 

  • Managed the full production process and build (everything from design to manufacturing to packaging) 
  • Leveraged our manufacturing relationships to coordinate production/assembly in China, 
  • Selected and coordinated TUV certification (which we identified would be faster than UL certification) 
  • Created the product’s user manual, including translations. 

The results

A full-service build that exceeded aesthetic, functionality, and cost goals 

NMG provided end-to-end engineering, design, and manufacturing support to meet the customer’s form, fit, and function goals while also reducing costs. NMG delivered a box-build product with additional features that significantly increased the product’s value. 20,000 pieces were produced and sent to our customer’s distribution centers across the US. 

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About NMG 

NMG has more than 85 years of experience partnering with organizations to bring their industrial, IoT, lighting, medical, telecommunications, consumer, and aerospace products to life. We solve your most complex challenges in engineering design, manufacturing, and supply chain management.

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