Laundry runs in the family
We're Equator Advanced Appliances, a small business that makes high-efficiency appliances, including washing machines. It was started in 1991 by entrepreneur, Atul Vir, when he pioneered Combo Washer-Dryers in the US market. Today, Atul and his daughter, Amrita, make up a father-daughter team with ambitions to revolutionize the laundry industry with the Equator Hybrid, the most advanced laundry appliance in the world.
Amrita (age 5) on one of the first combo washer-dryers
Atul pioneered the combo washer-dryer market in the US 18 years ago. These machines allowed one to put laundry in, press a button, and return a couple of hours later to clean clothes. In addition to the time saved by these front-load machines, they are also highly energy efficient and use 1/3 the water used by traditional top-loading machines.
The problem with front-load machines is that consumers must bend down to load and unload their laundry. We decided to tackle this issue by designing a machine that opens like a conventional top-loading washer.
What makes the Equator Hybrid unique is the horizontal-axis technology that uses a front-load design but enables it to be opened from the top, providing exceptional ease-of-use.
The research and development for this concept was done by a world-class American design team to better satisfy the needs of the busy American consumer. The result was 14 patents (10 for design and 4 for technology). In addition to being the first top-loading horizontal-axis machine with a one-touch opening mechanism, the Equator Hybrid will also include the following features:
- Size of a conventional washing machine (H40"x W27"x D28")
- Uses 220 volts, allowing less drying time
- Capacity of 3.5 cubic feet, the size of a conventional washer
- Touch screen controls with one-touch start
- One button operation for loading access to the drum
- Automatic water input depending on laundry weight
- Automatic dry time and dry temperature
- Pause/Add-a-sock feature
- Built-in diagnostics
- App for remote operations
- Adjustable control panel
- Machine calls/texts you to let you know laundry is done
Three prototypes of the Equator Hybrid have been produced. Below are photos of a fully assembled prototype and digital drawings of various internal assemblies.
The funding will go toward the manufacturing of the Equator Hybrid.The selected plant location is about 90 miles from Houston, a town called Schulenburg. It is the heart of the area where settlers from Germany immigrated over 150 years ago. The location is the Stanzel model aircraft factory building which is about 20,000 square feet in size. There is adequate space for parts storage, assembly staging, testing, and packing. While some of the components will be manufactured in other plants, some of the components will be manufactured in-house. Much of the equipment is already in place.
Schulenburg Production Facility
The project will generate about 30 jobs in the first year. Particular attention will be paid to testing the product in order to ensure it has a robust feel to it. We believe that it will deserve the label “Made in America.”
The funding breaks down as follows:
Raw materials: $110,000
Shipping: $68,000-Overhead: $20,000
Finance Fees: $30,000
IndieGoGo Campaign: $500,000 goal
What You Get
We offer a unique set of perks for backing this project. The higher level perks include an Equator Hybrid and other exciting perks, exclusively available through Equator. The lower level perks are unique and useful, which we hope you will enjoy.
The Equator Hybrid is no ordinary washing machine. It is designed to be the most advanced laundry appliance in the world and will have huge export potential, especially to Europe and Australia.
Risks and Challenges
The main challenge in the Equator Hybrid project is putting all the moving parts of the project together. These include coordinating suppliers for contract manufactured components as well as finished components. To overcome this, priority will be given to suppliers located stateside who can provide just-in-time shipments. In addition, there will be the challenge of getting manpower for the assembly of machines. We have anticipated this by situating the site in Schulenburg, where one can draw on employees with German heritage who are known for precision engineering. There is also a technical college located in the city from where we can draw fresh talent. Anticipating the above challenges enables us to overcome them in a timely manner.
Whether you're able to contribute or not, we would appreciate you sharing our story and our idea with those around you! Thank you for reading about the Equator Hybrid! We appreciate your support!