Prototypes have become an indispensable part of product development. Thanks to modern 3D printing processes, they can be produced faster and more cost-effectively than ever. But the time it takes to deliver the models plays an increasingly important role in their success. More and more prototypes are also being equipped with (electric) drive mechanisms. Three experts from PCV Group in Enschede, in the Netherlands, shine some light on current trends in prototyping.
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Entries by Karen Damhuis
Sustainable, environmentally friendly, sturdy and hygienic: packaging materials have to meet ever-more-demanding requirements, especially when they contain consumer products. For this reason, manufacturers are searching for new materials, while also enlarging existing packaging designs. “For example, in the cleaning products sector, the concentrations of the chemical constituents are being increased, so that a single package lasts the customer longer,” relates Martijn Torenbeek of the PCV Group. In this contribution, the engineer from the company based in Enschede, the Netherlands, describes the role that cross innovation plays in the development of new packaging solutions.
Barista plus engineer equals recipe for success: The product developers of PCV Group in Enschede, the Netherlands, are experts in (professional) coffee machines. Since they take their profession seriously, some engineers are also baristas at the same time.
Recently, we joined the Dutch Society for Precision Engineering, because we believe that making coffee is precision engineering too. To present our knowledge about the difficulties in controlling hot water, Neal Meijers, Mieke van den Belt and Henk van der Wulp wrote an article about hot-water control in consumer appliances. This article was originally accepted for a presentation for the DSPE Conference on Precision Mechatronics 2020, which has been postponed till 2021. Instead of waiting a year, this article has now been published in DSPE’s magazine Mikroniek.
Over the past few weeks, TechMed Centre researchers have joined forces with developers from PCV Group in Enschede to rapidly develop a breathing support hood. “This minimally invasive ventilation technology (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, or CPAP) offers an alternative for COVID-19 patients who are not sick enough for admission to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) but who are too ill to be treated in ordinary wards”, according to Professor of Health Technology Implementation Ruud Verdaasdonk and lung physiologist Frans de Jongh.
How can we prevent leaks? This is a question that valve manufacturers and users face every day. In this Armaturen Welt interview, Martijn Torenbeek from the PCV Group in Enschede, the Netherlands, presents some solutions for particular challenges. These are all based on a “cross-innovation” approach, which involves the transfer of solutions from one industry to another. The company established itself as a specialist in sealing by developing the Flexring for Georg Fischer Piping Systems.
Industrial designer Lex van Dockum has overseen many product development processes in the course of his career. He worked in small engineering offices and various multinational companies before joining the PCV Group five years ago. Since then he has joined the management team and is particularly valued for his ability to take a “helicopter view” of a project. Where he had also become “fed-up” with the sluggish organisational structures of large companies, he now enjoys the freedom to improve or develop from scratch new products for clients, working with colleagues with very different specialisms. To do this, the team from the PCV Group employs an approach it calls ‘structured creativity’. In this interview the experienced project manager describes what exactly this entails.
Last week PCV visited the Aerosol & Dispening Forum (ADF) and the Packaging of Perfume, Cosmetics & Design (PCD) in Paris. Important themes were sustainability, responsibility and consumer sensibilities.
It is the users that ultimately determine whether a product is successful on the market or not. The PCV Group already incorporates this ethos at the product development stage, by making the needs of the user a focal point. User Centred Design (UCD) is the approach that a team of five is continuously improving for client projects of the Enschede-based product developers, without losing sight of their technical background. Industrial designer Bram Norp provides valuable insight.
The visualisation of ideas forms a significant part of any industrial design study. Using paper and a charcoal pencil, a graphics pad or a computer, images are created that aren’t just meant to look nice. Yet, what roles can and should they actually play in product development processes? Industrial designers Bram Norp and Elias van Hoek, both graduates of the University of Twente’s (UT) degree programme in Industrial Design Engineering, recognise big differences between sketching during their studies and in their day-to-day work at the PCV Group – revealing a large gap between theory and practice.