Design Engineering
Showcase 2021


Product Testing

Project Details

Premal Gadhia
Technical Solutions
Dr Talya Porat
Technical Solutions lead
Retail and Consumer Goods

Refrain is a start-up aiming to launch soon, they plan to create a community and service that allows residents to shop from clean, kind, local beaty brands using their reusable packaging, with the aim of zero waste and asterisks to reduce the users impact on the environment. Their products will be delivered to them as and when refills are required. They gave me the opportunity to run work on multiple projects, mainly focusing on the durability and manufacturability of the packaging. Refrain has taught me many technical and professional people skills, preparing me for my future endeavours.


Demonstration of Design Engineering Thinking and Skills

My initial project focused on improving the design of the custom packaging. I drafted up the assembly in Solidworks, from this assembly I was able to run static assembly simulations to see which areas of the packaging underwent the most deflection and stress. This information was fed into future designs, which allowed us to iteratively design the most effective solution. This also meant that the company didn’t have to pay for each design to be manufactured and therefore saving the company a lot of money on tooling as well as time for manufacture. We found that the current final design uses a lot less material, which should lead to lower costs per component in the future.

Whilst working on my last project I designed, fabricated, and tested a screen-printing machine, from home, to print onto the rounded surface of a jar which allowed me to learn a lot about how the company sees the manufacturing and packaging process to work in the future. By bringing this vital machine of the packaging and printing process to fruition, I was able to save the company hundreds of pounds on materials and possible labour costs.

Towards the end of my placement I explored early-stage concepts for multiple other packaging solutions for Refrain as well.

All ideas, versions and prototypes were presented and critiqued alongside the rest of the team as to ensure the best designs and outcomes were met.


Role and Contributions

As a Technical solutions lead, I focussed mainly on solving problems which were more engineering than designer, which included engineering drawings, CAD simulations using FEA , the design, fabrication and testing of the screen printing machine, lifecycle assessments of packaging based on durability and logistics & storage of packaging.

By taking on board entirely the bringing to life of a lot of these components of the business, other members were able to focus on more business orientated and vital processes. The completion of this unique machine allows the company to go forward with an entirely unique, sustainable, and environmentally friendly solution which will improve their competitiveness against larger brands in the future.

linear assembly


My time at Refrain gave me the opportunity to learn and develop multiple skills by working on various projects, with real life outcomes that effected the running of the business. Whilst working in such a small team for this start up, I developed multiple people and technical skills, which will only allow me to succeed in my future endeavours. It has given me newfound motivation to succeed in both academic and professional life.