Dyson’s new $80 million factory in Singapore is dedicated to producing one of the company’s less glamorous inventions.

Instead of vacuums or fans, it will make Dyson digital motors.

The latest version of the Motor, the DDM 4.0, powers the company’s latest product, the Airblade Tap, a $1,500 faucet that washes and dries hands.

The faucet took 3 years to make; this most recent version of the motor took 7. The new factory will be able to produce 4 million of them a year.

It’s one of the smallest, quietest high-powered motors in the world, accelerating from zero to 92,000 rpm in less than 0.7 seconds thanks to its super-efficient electromagnet-based design.

In a statement accompanying the announcement, James Dyson himself explained, "Building a complex motor with minute tolerances requires the precision of a fully automated production line."

"There is no room for error."

Co.Design

Dyson's $80 Million New Factory, Dedicated To Its Most Unsung Invention

The innovative company just announced a fully robotic, state-of-the-art factory in Singapore. But it won’t be manufacturing vacuums or fans.

Dyson is synonymous with innovation--there are few other companies out there so doggedly committed to rethinking things, and fewer yet that do it so audaciously. But as it’s developed its bagless vacuums and bladeless fans, Dyson has been tirelessly refining another invention, one that’s far less glamorous than its consumer products but in some cases essential to the company’s success. It’s called the Dyson digital motor, and now the company’s spending $80 million on a factory dedicated to making them.

Dyson’s latest product, the Airblade Tap, is a $1,500 faucet that washes hands and then dries them with a 420 mph blast of air. It’s an impressive piece of restroom-streamlining hardware that took three years and 3,300 prototypes to perfect. But it wouldn’t have been possible without version 4.0 of the Dyson digital motor, which was, all told, an even greater undertaking, costing some $42 million and spanning seven years of development.

It’s one of the smallest, quietest high-powered motors in the world, accelerating from zero to 92,000 rpm in less than 0.7 seconds, thanks to its super-efficient electromagnet-based design. Previous versions helped make the company’s cordless vacuums possible, and I’m sure the mad scientists at the Dyson labs have plans for the new one that extend far beyond bathroom sinks.

The company’s new factory, Dyson West Park, will be located in Singapore and will feature an automated production line of 55 robots, capable of pumping out 4 million of the motors a year. In a statement accompanying the announcement, James Dyson says that his engineers spent a year scouring the globe for the very best robotic equipment. "Building a complex motor with minute tolerances requires the precision of a fully automated production line," he explains. "There is no room for error." But always room for improvement.

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8 Comments

  • Alex Desforges

    As much as I'd like to like Dyson because their products looks great and the marketing is amazing... the reality always seems to be somewhat disappointing. Their vacuums 'suck' badly. I worked in a hotel. They had many Dyson's and one or 2 Henry's. They Henry's consistantly performed well. Yes you had to change the bag but at least they had a powerful suck and didn't break all the time. The Dyson heatin fan has bad reviews because it is so noisy and inneffective. Style over content all the way. Form over function. Still, it sells, so who cares?

  • Maris

    That was the part that surprised me.  I thought Dyson was big on keeping manufacturing in the UK.

  • PhineasJW

    Here's the problem, and the part they missed in their multi-million dollar design --

    A decent percentage of people don't wash their hands at all.  Who cares right?

    Except, for those of us that do wash, many of us use the paper towel to open the door on the way out, so we don't have to touch the door handle.

    For those people, this is a step back.  I don't want to use your 80 million dollar air dryer only to open the door with my bare hands and head back to grab that hamburger or buttered bread...

  • Maris

    To Blesh,

    Most places I've been to require you to pull when you exit.  And most people I know are not that flexible.