The client is a market leading supplier of washroom products for healthcare, mental healthcare, custodial and public applications. Hillside Product Design and the client have previously developed a wireless programmer which enables users to set flush intervals, purges, and other washroom plumbing functions by interfacing with a PCB-controlled washroom control box. The client required a new, expanded control box capable of controlling the functions of two washrooms comprising multiple showers, baths, basins and WCs.
Hillside Product Design worked with the client and their electronics designer to ensure that the new functionality was implemented into the design while still being efficient to assemble in the factory and install on-site. A range of assembly concepts for lid opening and wiring arrangements were created and reviewed with the client. A three-component box was selected as it enabled the installer to remove the cable entry face for easier wiring access, as well as being cost effective to tool. The lid can be unclipped for additional access, and the angled split-line protects the electronics from dust and water by creating an over-hanging roof.
While the control box will be installed away from public access in cabinets and ducts, it is important to ensure that unauthorized or accidental access to the mains power inside is prevented. Polycarbonate was selected as a moulding material as it is resistant to impact, met flammability requirements, and could be moulded with excellent surface finish. The lid of the box is fastened with security screws to prevent access without the appropriate tools. The heavy mass of the components on the PCB meant that vibrations and shocks during transit needed to be anticipated and considered in the design.
The design was reviewed using a CNC-machined prototype from solid Polycarbonate which enabled the client to review the assembly procedure and robustness of the control box in a test installation. Additionally the electronics designer was able to use the prototype to test the fit and function of their electronics prior to tooling.