Design Engineering
Showcase 2021

Kwickscreen

Tags
Rapid Prototyping
3D printing
OmniWheels
Metal Forming

Project Details

Student
Ethan Chow
Team
R&D
Supervisor
Professor Robert Shorten
Role
Junior Design Engineer
Sector
Retail and Consumer Goods
Links
Email
Portfolio
LinkedIn

Within Kwickscreen, I worked on two main projects; PatientScreen, a grant funded project dedicated to creating an around the bed solution to replace hospital curtains globally due to their ability to become a breeding ground for infections, affecting 1 in 10 people. My second project, ScreenSwitch, involved the integration of differential opacity screens into these flexible and deployable screens which inherently helps nurses monitor patients better with greater privacy.

I worked closely with the R&D team to begin the initial stages of development, looking into newly discovered blue oceans. This included solutions that looked at force balancing prototypes, shock absorbency, and feasibility analysis.

Kwickscreen
Problems that arise with the development of HAI's in hospitals

Demonstration of Design Engineering Thinking and Skills

Working in a fast paced medium-sized company, I was able to integrate myself into a continuously learning R&D team, with the motto of 'starting with the impossible, then working backwards'. The solutions the company were coming up with were completely unique and had not been done before, so I grew in ability to analytically assess ideas and prototypes, critically reviewing the best aspects of each design.

Kwickscreeen prototype workflow

PatientScreen

I have learnt how to track and develop the progress of prototypes through Quality Function Deployment analysis (QFD's) , Engineering analysis through free body diagrams (FBD) and Finite Element Analysis (FEA), and Engineering Process workflows, creating matrices and workshops to highlight the best aspects of each design. I was able to practice these skills through the multiple concept development areas, which included balancing forces, wheel design, and hybrid concept analysis, following a systematic work flow that was indoctrinated.

With each design, there were multiple stages in which a design would be ideated, critically reviewed and revised through evaluation and then created using workshop methods. I learned many new metal forming and fabrication techniques during this process. These would vary in fidelity depending on their importance, with basic form development leading to full sized 3x3 meter units.

PatientScreen's design looks to create an around the bed solution to provide a cleanable and more permanent design when compared to hospital curtains

ScreenSwitch

With ScreenSwitch, I was responsible for researching and presenting a feasibility analysis of incorporating differential opacity screens within hospitals. Investigations in medical, fire, mechanical and electrical standards were undertaken, involving interactions with various suppliers and clients.

SMART goals were created to set the required standards in which each screen would have to meet within a hospital environment. This process would also remove the need of spending a significant amount of time and money towards contacting a standards agency, thus providing worth and adding knowledge in this field. Since this field was unfamiliar in the company, it was aimed to narrow down the requirements to the most important EN and BSI standards. Correct regulations and standards had to be understood in order to form a specific specification, which would determine the final material composition.

In-unit prototype of the capabilities of ScreenSwitch
In-unit prototype of the capabilities of ScreenSwitch

Role and Contributions

During my placement in Kwickscreen, I had to partake in many weekly critical reviews in which I had to present to the top 3 senior members at the company, communicating my documented work through various mediums; physical prototypes, CAD design, video explanations, and appropriate graphs, which all were recorded and documented to be assessed for the next steps of progress.

I have conducted extensive research into new avenues and marketable areas that Kwickscreen were interested in exploring, documenting the most suitable options through my recommendations based on a developed feasibility analysis.

I have produced and worked on separate independent side projects in the company that will be used by the business in the future, including SOP's for half of the company’s current product portfolio, integrating a new jig management systems. I was able represent the company and its ethos through my many interactions with clients, end users, and employees throughout this experience, in which I contributed to a partnership for a product life-testing rig. This will be used in the future years for life cycle testing of all products, incorporating modularity into the design.

Being able to interact and communicate with different parts of the business, allowed me to review and improve the safety of the workplace and its products, for example, creating safety product stickers for product use. Understanding the critical importance of maintaining strong relationships between parties is something I will look to progress in my future career, with consideration to accountability and project deadlines.

Summary

Working in a company with so much flexibility and interactions between departments has allowed me to understand and create real value from work. I have been held accountable for projects, constantly developing my prototyping, interactive, and soft skills along the way through the help of the team. My placement at Kwickscreen, has been really amazing to obtain insights from seniors, and I can't recommend it enough.