Resource efficient design
BlueLavage product innovation
- Projekt: Saug- und Spülpistole
- Kunde: UTK Solutions
- Leistungen: Produktdesign, Ergonomie, CAD-Konstruktion, Visualisierung
- Webseite: utk-solution.com
- Award: Efficiency Award NRW 2019, IF Design Award
- Jahr: 2021
What's behind the idea?
Around 434,000 flushing systems are used in operating theaters in Germany alone every year. These are regularly disposed of completely immediately after use. The annual consumption of around 334 t of plastic, 2.6 million batteries and 434,000 motors is far too resource-intensive. And these figures only refer to a single product.
BlueLavage rethinks the ecologically most problematic components of the system. UTK Solutions came to us with the idea of recycling parts of the product. And in this way to reduce almost 50% of the regular waste of plastic and electronics.
For this performance, BlueLavage has already been tested with the Efficiency Award NRW 2019, and the IF Design Award 2021 excellent.
We developed concepts that made it possible to separate the housing and drive unit. In a workshop, we worked out ways to realize the idea and at the same time meet the strict hygiene and safety guidelines for sterile intensive care medicine.
The innovative separation of the BlueLavage into a single-use handpiece and a reusable drive unit with patented locking leads to a significant improvement in sustainable production and use compared to conventional solutions. In this way, the engine can be reused up to 150 times. The necessary sterility requirements are met by a packaging concept with an ergonomic insertion funnel. The funnel enables the drive unit to be inserted hygienically during the operation.
For reasons of hygiene, the handpiece is designed as a disposable product with a single use. A low level of vertical integration and short production cycles keep the energy required for production and the costs of the short-lived housing low.
The choice of colour, different surface qualities and the subtle honeycomb pattern in the front logo area nevertheless create an appropriately valuable, professional look that corresponds to the environment. The focus of the design on its functional areas simplifies handling and gives the single-use product the necessary confidence in its reliability.
Product function, ergonomics and handling
With the help of the ergonomic insertion aid, the DriveUnit can be inserted in such a way that neither the operator nor the sterile outside of the handpiece are contaminated.
The self-explanatory design and the special coupling between the drive unit and the pump prevent incorrect operation. The current status of operational readiness is permanently displayed by a status LED. Due to the roughness in the gripping area, the handpiece can be guided safely. The rinsing stage can be adapted to specific requirements at any time. In favor of safety, batteries and electrical cables can be dispensed with in the operating area.
Unique selling proposition and innovation
70% of the suction and rinsing systems in Germany are produced in a less ecological way as purely disposable products. Existing multiple-use systems have the disadvantage that after use they can no longer be used without being sterilized again. In contrast, the innovative DriveUnit of the BlueLavage, which is housed completely inside the handpiece, does not come into contact with the sterile area thanks to the cover and the use of the insertion aid. Therefore, sterilization of the DriveUnit is not required at all. This and its modern, simple design makes BlueLavage unique on the market.
With BlueLavage, compared to comparable products, 53 t of electronic waste, 164 t of plastic and 2.6 million AA batteries can be saved annually in Germany alone. It is less expensive than the competition, and all parts that do not come into direct contact with the patient during surgery are reused. There are also many advantages in the operating room due to the high operating safety.
The product is unique, environmentally friendly, and with over 1.2 million operations using such systems across Europe, there is a great need, as well as an enormous potential for savings in resource consumption.
Design, engineering and production go hand in hand when developing products. Again and again we can start at the interfaces of the areas. This creates opportunities to exert influence, to critically question existing systems and to develop changes.