Palm Products is a design and technology led company.
It is an Australian owned and operated designer and manufacturer of unbreakable drink and tableware products and of precision plastic automotive and building parts. Palm’s consumer products are sold in Australia and in over 30 countries world-wide. The company is the largest supplier of unbreakable drinkware in Australia. Palm’s precision automotive parts are found in Toyota, General Motors, Ford, Porsche, Hyundai vehicles and Volvo and Iveco trucks. Parts are exported to Thailand, Hungary, Sweden, Spain, India and South Africa. Palm is a leader in automotive lens manufacture and 2-shot moulding.
All products are made in our facility in Melbourne, Australia
Our consumer products are building worldwide markets based upon:
- Beautiful tactile design
- Beautiful functionality
Our products are engineered for long life using the best available materials. We aim to develop the best possible products for their intended use.
We are vertically integrated – designing, producing, warehousing, distributing and marketing. This gives us significant advantages in cost, quality, flexibility and technology.
Our Decisive Edge. Our strategic vision is to maintain a balance between manufacturing Palm branded consumer products and contract moulding. Excellence in manufacturing is the foundation of the company. It is why we are accredited to quality standard IS0 9001 and environment standard ISO 14001. Palm uses the principles of the Toyota Production Method to continuously improve, to drive up quality and to drive out waste. Supplying leading automotive companies forces disciplines that gives Palm Consumer products and our contract customers a decisive edge in efficiency, productivity and consistent quality, as well as the assurances that there is no substitution of inferior materials.
Design Driven The winning of a Red Dot Award (Germany) for our Marc Newson range of drinkware in 2014, and our Sorona® Plate and Bowl Collection in 2016 and now the Good Design Award (Chicago, USA) for the Caffe Cup is a significant achievement that has led to commercial success and sales worldwide – these awards set Palm apart.
Craft Based Values. Palm is more like a craft based company, in the Italian tradition, than a mass producer. It is a place where passion and skill are alive. A deep understanding of injection moulding and a spirit of adventure have led to many “light bulb” moments. Our consumer products and contract products are made in a Hall of Fame finalist facility in Melbourne Australia, using best available environmental and lean-production practices. It is a synergy of state-of-the-art European equipment, robotics, systems and passionate motivated staff. Values of mutual thrust and goal congruence drive innovation, productivity, quality and our customer focus.
Less but Better Products. We believe that people should own less but better products – ones that give pleasure in use. So our products are beautiful and timeless and avoid trends, they have outstanding functionality and quality, and use the best available materials for a long life. This is Palm’s commitment and contribution to sustainability.
About Our Products
Designed to be Beautiful and to Perform Beautifully
Beautiful design and beautiful performance are central to Palm Products’ strategic vision.
Our aim is to develop products that are functionally, aesthetically, and commercially more efficient, improving people’s lives and leading to the smallest possible impact on the environment.
The core idea is that our products should give pleasure in use. Pleasure in use is an emotional reaction that is a combination of the sensibilities of the consumer which encompass the aesthetic, the functional, the health and safety and the sustainable.
We seek that indefinable magic that elevates great art, or great music or great architecture from the noise.
Most of our products are Guaranteed Unbreakable for an industry leading 10 years. All are 100% recyclable. All are Dishwasher-safe – their long life saves resources and saves land-fill.
These guarantees are possible because only the best materials for the application are used, because of the structural integrity of the designs and because of the rigid control production conditions.
The story of Palm Products is as much about innovation in product design and manufacturing as it is the story of a simple philosophy that guides the company’s success: continuously make improvements, however small they are, and the business will transform to meet the needs of the market.
Global sustainability has always been the goal – with the company motto from the early 90’s being “Quality products for world markets”.
Palm Tooling was founded by tool-maker, Jack Sullivan, in the 1960s as a specialist toolmaking business and was followed by adding moulding machines to become Palm Plastics. Back then all tools were made without the aid of computer controlled machines and CAD designs. Mills and lathes were operated by winding small wheels. Tool-making is a most exacting skill where tolerances are measured in 100th of a millimetre. To achieve these tolerances by hand and eye without an making error requires great skill and patience. Jack transferred this exactness to the moulding side of the business.
Robert Wilson purchased the business in the late 80’s, after a corporate career in engineering and senior roles in sales, marketing and general management. The dream was to use the engineering and production skills of the business to develop a complementary consumer products business.
And so began the transformation of the business to one that has embraced the best technology and systems and the Toyota production method with its emphasis on lean manufacturing and continuous improvement. Palm Products is unrecognisable today. Technologically advanced machinery and processes place the company at the forefront of innovation and design globally.
Robert’s past experiences have instilled in him a customer-centric attitude that demands the end-user’s needs are addressed in every product category, and each product designed and marketed. Fit for purpose design is a mandate of all product research and development. He knew that a customer-focused company would not be realized without a workforce that was motivated. Respect, mutual trust and goal congruence underpin the loyalty and commitment of staff at Palm Plastics. All employees are valued equally within the business, and decisions are made in concert with those directly affected. As a result, the staff at Palm Plastics place a high value on their role within the company and the products are of an extremely high quality, whilst being cost competitive with imports from Asia.
Despite high interest rates and a crippling recession, Palm Products grew in the early 1990s. During the first five years of the decade, the principles that guide the business were formed: drive the costs down, simplify processes and constantly invest in the business. Continual improvements were made to machinery, processes, training and an increasing investment made in product development. By 1995, Palm Products was manufacturing and marketing a stackable tumbler, which is still in production today. Wine glass and champagne flutes followed, as well as plates and bowls.
The product and engineering excellence achieved in the automotive sector directly impacts the manufacture of drinkware. Palm Products made automotive instrument cluster lenses for Toyota, Nissan and Mitsubishi. The skills learnt in making these lenses with high clarity and at zero rejects is directly transferable to making clear drinkware. In 2004, Palm Products purchased its first two-shot injection moulding machines to manufacture 2 colour drinkware. The process enables complex parts to be produced that are not possible using the normal single shot process – such as moulding a non-slip material onto the base.
Ongoing investment in the upgrading of equipment and replacement with newer and higher technology machines and processes will continue to drive costs down, increase high quality and reduce energy use. The improved performance of the factory continues to define the success of Palm Products through its third decade under Robert Wilson’s leadership.
Despite the growth of consumer products, the automotive industry continues to be an important part of the business. The engineering and production skills necessary to remain globally competitive in the automotive industry is an important part of being globally competitive in consumer products. A measure of this commitment is Robert Wilson’s past position as Treasurer of the Federation of Automotive Products Manufacturers.
Palm Products supplies high precision automotive components found in Toyota, Ford, GM, Porsche and Hyundai vehicles and Volvo trucks and IVECO trucks .
The company has also been involved in R&D through GM North America – a testament to the company’s innovation and technical ability.
The collaboration with Marc Newson in 2013 marked a recognition that a stronger integration of good design into Palm Products corporate vision is a necessary part of being internationally competitive. It is no longer enough to have the best functionality.
Development of new innovative products that combine good design with Palm Products DNA of functionality and production capability is driving an exciting future for the company.