Tomi, a world leader in disinfection technologies, asked Planet Innovation and Cobalt to help them make deep cleaning significantly more accessible. The result is Sterapak; a breakthrough cordless device which has reset size, weight and portability expectations compared to existing ionisation systems.
The new design gives Tomi a global advantage in markets where infection control is crucial but space and access is limited, such as aviation, public transport and medical facilities.
In this project Cobalt design engineered the backpack module, which houses the internal pump, power supply and electronics. This makes Sterapak a wearable, battery-operated device that can go places no traditional equipment can reach.
Leveraging our experience in loadbearing backpacks, we also developed an adjustable harness which transfers the product’s weight to the user’s hips. This, as well as positioning components to reduce perceived weight, reduces back strain, especially over the timeframe of a cleaner’s shift.
Cobalt placed significant focus on the user’s comfort as well as the product’s effectiveness. Sterapak comfortably fits a range of users, with mounting and venting designed to minimise vibration and temperature levels. While the swappable battery (and quick release latch) allow for an easy mid-shift power change.
We completed the development process within the client’s brief and a very tight timeframe, through our integrated design and engineering-led process, as well as our inhouse 3D printing and manufacturing knowhow.
Design for Manufacture
We applied our deep manufacturing knowledge to ensure high throughput and QA levels, despite many components having wide tolerance levels. For example, we engineered key parts to pull into alignment as they are assembled, and we tested/refined assembly details throughout the project.
Using our experience in product development (including within softgoods and load-carriage principles) our team was able to meet the project’s tight timeframe through quick mockup, rapid prototyping and assembly testing to allow for a fast transition to production with minimal pre-production tuning.
To ensure user comfort and safety, we used computer simulation software and physical prototypes to position vents and fans. We also conducted engineering analysis and testing to specify the correct mounting details that dampen the internal pump to safe vibration levels over a typical shift.
Our role was to package the cordless technology and mechanics within a form that is comfortable, safe and intuitive to use over a typical shift. Our team wore different configurations and harness systems to fine tune the load distribution and adjustability.
The Team We believe good design happens by expert people working as a team.
Libby Christmas Project Leader
"The SteraPak delivers uncompromising efficacy that goes anywhere you go to provide an unprecedented level of control over your disinfection application."
– TOMI environmental solutions