Souther Comfort - Lime Slicer
Southern Comfort - Lime Slicer
The Brief
The brief was to create a bespoke lime slicer to be used as a free gift with the purchase of a bottle of Southern Comfort®, with the initial intention being for the slicer to fit over the top of a standard bottle. 

I began by researching existing slicer designs and combined this information with knowledge of the brand to create some initial concept sketches. The preferred design was then translated into 3D (using computer CAD software) and fully rendered concept visuals presented to the client.

Subsequent feedback from the client necessitated a radical re-design when it was discovered that one of retailers planning to run the promotion uses security tags that attach to the neck of the bottle, meaning the slicer could not attach as proposed. The alternative was to find a way of attaching the slicer within a space of 65mm under the bottle. This significantly restricted the possible height of the slicer and presented something of an engineering challenge. However, this challenge was met and a new design produced.
Southern Comfort - Lime Slicer
Form Model
On two occasions during the design process it was felt relevant to produce a form model of the lime slicer for the client. This was done using a 3D colour printer, a state of the art rapid prototyping machine. From the CAD model produced in-house we were able to get an external company to produce a full colour representation of the lime slicer. The whole process was very quick - the client had the revised model on their desk in less than a week.
Southern Comfort - Lime Slicer
Detail
Before passing on the design to our manufacturers in China, detailed engineering drawings were produced from the CAD software. These were supported by logo placement guides and rendered visuals, all of which were made available to the client to aid in the final approval process.
Southern Comfort - Lime Slicer
The Clay Mould
In preparation for the injection moulding and to test the functionality of the lime slicer, the CAD model was used to construct a clay mould. This was then used to produce a physical model in resin to which blades could be added. 

The alignment and mounting of the blades were then fine tuned to optimise the cut. A serrated edge was added to better engage the blade with the lime and aid with breaking the skin. It was also felt that this was a safer option than a flat blade.
Southern Comfort - Lime Slicer
Working Prototype
From the clay mould a further prototype was created, this time in ABS plastic. For the benefit of the client, the plastic was sprayed green to represent the semi-translucent finish of the final product.

Further testing was conducted with the new prototype, including experimentation with different sized limes. It was decided that for the best results we would advise users to ‘top and tail’ the lime before slicing it. This made the slice easier (as the skin was already broken) and also resulted in a more aesthetically pleasing aspect to the lime.
Southern Comfort - Lime Slicer
Metal Tooling
Following approval from the client, metal tooling was manufactured and the first injection moulded parts produced. A batch was then sent to the client for packaging testing.
Southern Comfort - Lime Slicer
Final Product
Following approval from the client, the final design was readied for production. One minor amendment was the client’s decision to go for a solid green finish instead of a translucent one. They also decided to add artwork to the back of the slicer in addition to the branding on the front.

The final product was shrink wrapped, with the lime slicer’s instructions placed inside, ready for the on-pack promotion.
Souther Comfort - Lime Slicer
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Souther Comfort - Lime Slicer

A case study of the development of a bespoke lime slicer for Southern Comfort in 2009.
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Published:

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