Let's talk about lab water
Let's talk about lab water
We were inspired by Lee Underwood’s guest blog last week to look into product design more ourselves.
In our searches we stumbled on the eruditely articulated approach to product design by Dieter Rams. Rams, a German industrial designer closely associated with the consumer products company Braun introduced the idea of sustainable development in design in the 1970s. Accordingly he asked himself the question: is my design good design? The answer formed his now celebrated ten principles.
First up “Good Design is Innovative”. This is the first blog in a four part series taking a look at how our latest laboratory water purification system holds up to the acclaimed designers test.
“The possibilities for innovation are not, by any means, exhausted. Technological development is always offering new opportunities for innovative design. But innovative design always develops in tandem with innovative technology, and can never be an end in itself.”
We’d like to think that PURELAB Chorus is a truly innovative product, but let’s delve a little deeper into some of the technologies. We have known how to purify water to different levels of (type I+ water, ultrapure water, to type III water) for many years now, and no new technology has emerged to significantly change this process.
We still rely on our trusty allies reverse osmosis, filtration, deionisation and ultraviolet light and they still do the job of removing particles large and small, ions and bacteria to purify water (check out our infographic for more). While there’s little new in the processes used to purify the water here, there have been several other developments outside of laboratory water purification which have found their way into our newer products.
New materials have enabled the design of more flexible water dispense guns, a huge difference from the rigid plastics used on some older lab water systems. Improvements in injection moulding have enabled us to use fewer pipe work connections and new plastics have enabled smooth inner surfaces on water tanks, both of which give bacteria fewer places to hide while also improving the mixing of pure water in the system. Touch technology has lead to more control over the flow rate of lab water; improved display technology and haptic feedback have allowed better feedback of information while dispensing ultrapure water. These features were all frequently requested during our customer research phases and greatly improve the user’s interactions with our labwater systems.
While these are great examples of taking new technologies and using them to improve a product, the real innovation is a radical change in the way the humble laboratory water purification system is configured. PURELAB Chorus is a big departure from a box containing the aforementioned trusty allies attached to a tank and a tap.
The modular nature of the PURELAB Chorus, a first in water purification, allows separate parts of a system (tanks, units and dispensers) to be combined or positioned independently. This means the PURELAB Chorus:
It also means that the customer can configure a system to their exact requirement and provides for future changes.
The chassis, with its requirement to load-bear high volumes of water and fit multiple components, needed extensive engineering design. Smart link technology was developed, allowing the system to work together whether elements are combined or positioned independently.
So as you can see there are new technologies that have led to an improvement in the way we approach our product designs, but the innovation comes from applying these with an entirely new approach.