Initial Signature

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Delivering a New Product Design Language For The World’s Biggest Washroom Brand.

Following an extensive global appraisal process a design & manufacturing team was formed based in 7 centres across 5 countries. Experts in their chosen field, this team was tasked with bring Signature to market.

Key Design Objectives

- The IP landscape in Washroom Products is crowded. To identify areas of opportunity, advanced IP search software was employed to determine all of the patent’s globally which could have an impact on the design and development process. From the results, patent landscapes were developed showing  appropriate areas for ideation. In Hand Hygiene alone we were able to identify 11,954 granted patents. All were studied and their impact on the design process established.

- An initial aesthetic design language had been developed by Orca Design and was distilled into three structural elements:

- Signature :  This defines the first impression – the integrated form & silhouette – critical in shaping the products visual perception. The Supporting Platform supporting the Primary Surface. It is this simplicity that gives Signature its versatility to complement a wide range of environments & makes it less susceptible to changes in design trends.

- Engagement : The Primary Surface leads the user’s eye towards the dispensing point or interaction area. The gentle curves of the Primary Surface gives a welcoming quality to the product. 

- Details : The edges of the Primary Surface are visually crisp giving a clear definition between the Primary Surface & Supporting Platform. It is this crisp edge that heightens the sense of expertise, precision and quality.

The visual impact of all maintenance points are minimized to ensure that a clean profile is maintained.

- To maintain the original design intent, elevational drawings were used as underlays for the ‘X’, ‘Y’ & ‘Z’ axes to develop the 3D form.

- Complex surface modelling techniques were employed to ensure that original design intent was maintained. Edge details were blended with strict reference to the design guidelines to ensure we maintained Curvature Continuity around the crisp edge of the Primary Surface.

- The size and proportion of the Supporting Platform that supports and lifts the Primary Surface was defined. The gentle curves of the Primary Surface were developed to both lead the eye to the interaction area and heighten the perception of quality.

Design Development

- GBD were responsible for the mechanical engineering of the products, design for manufacture, serviceability and operation. Throughout the design process the requirements of the Service Technician were at the forefront of each decision. Access to the inner components is direct and ergonomic. Consideration of the products installation height & context determined the best opening angle.

- During the development of the CAD data the internal mechanism is integrated within the case parts. A clash detection analysis is undertaken to ensure that the product can be assembled and will function correctly.

- Test criteria developed to simulate likely abuse. The latest Finite Element Analysis techniques were employed to confirm the designs meet the specified requirement.

- To ensure that the final parts would be to the dimensional tolerances required for each product computer based ‘Mold Flow’ analysis was undertaken to predict the quality of the final moulded parts. ‘Mold Flow’ analysis is also used to predict manufacturing cycle times. This allows the moulder to produce accurate component cost well in advance of any tooling being manufactured. The team can then verify that the production item will meet the original cost target.

- Computer modelling was used to predict the performance of the products. The airflow through the Air Fresh Dispenser was optimized and modeling of the dispersion of scent molecules in the surrounding environment was undertaken. Using the CAD data computer generated animations were produced to asses the range of movement and function of the internal mechanisms.

- Along with the 3D CAD models fully detailed and toleranced manufacturing drawings were produced for each part. These drawings detail the areas critical to success of the function and aesthetic of the final product.

- Supporting the CAD and dimensional data CMF’s were produced for each product. The default Signature colour scheme is a versatile, neutral palette that suits most environments. Complemented by the matte grey platform, the glossy white delivers a fresh, personable and light visual appeal.

Product Solution

- The alternative cool silver and grey palette delivers a high-end impression that is perfect for premium environments (e.g. offices, airports, retail environments). With the metallic silver finish, it is distinct yet discreet, and gives a superior statement of quality.

- Custom-formulated antimicrobial thermoplastic compounds were developed for the Signature case parts that fight against harmful bacteria including MRSA, E-Coli, and Salmonella. The material contains a silver compound which has been proven to kill >99.9% of both GM+ve and GM-ve bacteria on contact.

- To verify the design and manufacturing data packs fully working prototypes were produced for each product. These prototypes replicated the dimensional accuracy, materials, colours and finishes.

- A comprehensive verification and validation test program was undertaken for each product to ensure that they are fit for purpose. Bespoke test rigs were manufactured replicating lifetime operation of the product – Abuse Testing; Fatigue Testing; Destruction Testing. Ease of instillation and serviceability were tested. This verified fixing positions, access opening angles, fit and ease of replenishing consumables.

- The final quality of any product is very much dependant upon the expertise of the toolmaker and moulder working with the design team in the constant pursuit of excellence. GBD attended T1 tool trials to ensure the quality of both tools and moulded parts. FoT parts are assessed for quality and any minor modifications feedback to the toolmaker and moulder for adjustments to be made to the tooling and moulding parameters. First off mechanical assemblies are assessed for quality and functional reliability any minor modifications feedback to the manufacturer for adjustments to be made to operating parameters.