The client is a market leading supplier of washroom products for healthcare, mental healthcare, custodial and public applications. They had a requirement for a device that would allow users to wirelessly program automatic, ‘no-touch’, tap systems to flush, purge, shut-off at set intervals, and perform other functions without requiring regular intervention from maintenance personnel. These functions are vital in minimising possible water wastage, and preventing bacteria from thriving in stagnant water within plumbing.
An important part of the product specification was that it was to be water-resistant – sufficient to protect the device from damage if it was dropped into a full sink or toilet. Allowances also needed to be made for USB interface to enable the user to upload settings from their PC onto the device. This necessitated a secure seal over the USB port which required rigorous testing to ensure repeat performance.
A two piece enclosure was designed to fit around the electronics designed by an electronics engineer contractor. To prevent water ingress around the screen and infra-red emitter lens, clear components for each were moulded in water-clear polycarbonate and then over-moulded into the main blue moulding. A custom membrane keypad was designed and sourced to ensure that the user would be able to navigate the menus without compromising ingress protection.
The device was prototyped with 3D printed block models and working prototypes, with client feedback sought at each stage. The device was tested in-house by Hillside Product Design to prove the gasket design by submerging it to 1m in a water tank. Close liaison between Hillside Product Design and the manufacturer allowed for fast turnaround of production samples and a successful manufacturing run.
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