Safe&Care - Concept design for a sensor-controlled bin
The project was developed within the scope of a workplace analysis in the medical laboratory of the University Hospital in Mainz (Germany). Through a process analysis and the observation of work processes, employee surveys and the personal interaction with the working environment and the existing instruments, it should be determined how working can be made safer, easier and more efficient.
Research and problem statement
The most serious problem that was immediately noticed was that keeping the workplace sterile, and thus the safety of personnel and laboratory staff, so drastically disrupted the workflow that employees did not take the necessary precautions, or paid little attention to them. This problem occurred mainly in the removal of contaminated wipes, the use of ampoules or germ-contaminated packaging materials. The disposable bins, which were self-sealing by pressing on, prevented the laboratory technicians from their work in that they did not close the lids of the bins every time, but left them open so that they could continue to dispose of waste without touching the contaminated handles of the bin.
Funktionsweise und Abläufe
The new concept is mainly based on the intention to change the topic of sterile operation and the problem of the one-time use of the bin. The previously used bins were sealed after they were full and then burned in their entirety. This procedure does not only mean a high consumption of rubbish bins, and thus of material, but this material is also eliminated by incineration without reuse. The new design solves this problem with a reusable body that is permanently installed in the laboratories. It is equipped with a bag made of a sturdy polyurethane, which is welded at the push of a button when fully filled. This closes the bag airtight and prevents germs and liquids from escaping. These bags are then incinerated as before, but much less material is required. The bin itself is then restocked with a new bag.
In order to improve hygiene aspects, the body of the bin has a sliding mechanism which closes the bag airtight when closed. This mechanism is triggered by sensors when the user holds his hand over it or throws something into it. Then the bin opens and contaminated objects can be disposed of. When the sensor-controlled area is free again, the bin closes automatically.
Sketches and modelling
In the process of form finding, various drawings, preliminary models and first 3D models were produced on the basis of the existing research. The CAD programs Autodesk Inventor and Rhino were used for this.