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Problem Definition Review. Power System for the Better Water Maker 14418. Agenda. Introduce Team Project Background Problem Objectives and Statement Use Scenarios Prioritized List of Customer Needs Engineering Requirements Draft of Project Plan

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problem definition review

Problem Definition Review

Power System for the

Better Water Maker


  • Introduce Team
  • Project Background
  • Problem Objectives and Statement
  • Use Scenarios
  • Prioritized List of Customer Needs
  • Engineering Requirements
  • Draft of Project Plan
  • Possible Issues and Negative Impacts
past better water maker projects
Past Better Water Maker Projects


  • Reduce manufacturing cost
  • Reduce effort to use
  • Improve on previous design

1st Rendition- Senior design team P11412, 2010

  • Resulted in current device

2nd Rendition- Senior design team P13417, 2012

  • Resulted in a design which included foot pedals but no prototype

Our Team- Senior design team P14418, 2013

  • Produce a prototype and basic manufacturing plan
current product
Current Product
  • Hand-crank design
  • Easy to assemble
  • Power must be consistent
  • Difficult for women and children to turn
  • Need for additional crank
why do w e n eed the better water maker
Why Do We Need the Better Water Maker?
  • Poor water and sanitation conditions in the developing world cause disease.
  • Every 20 seconds a child dies of a preventable waterborne illness.
  • Electricity is scarce; BWM provides the ability to disinfect water onsite, without access to electricity.
  • Women can benefit both personally and financially.

B9 Plastics

RIT’s MSD Program

People living in developing nations

problem objective
Problem Objective

Current State

  • Hand-crank to generate power
  • Costs $300-$400
  • Has 12V battery hookup
  • Difficult for women and children to turn
  • Recumbent foot pedal is “uncomfortable”

Desired State

  • Easier method of power production
  • Reduced manufacturing costs
  • Utilization of off-the-shelf components
  • A product that is fun and comfortable to use
  • Power generated from lower body movement
problem objective1
Problem Objective

Project Goals and Deliverables

  • Working prototype
  • Reduced effort for user
  • Fun and easy interface
  • Instruction manuals that are easy to understand
  • Confirmation of results from appropriate testing

Key Design Drivers

  • Cost, Usability, Manufacturability


  • Durability, Efficiency, Size, Weight, Strength of User
problem statement
Problem Statement

Much of the water available to people in developing nations is non-potable. This leads to disease and death; especially among children in these areas. The “Better Water Maker” water-disinfecting system was developed to alleviate this issue. Currently, the design makes use of a hand-crank and flywheel setup to generate 17 Watts of power. The power is used to pump water to a disinfecting chamber, and to light the UV bulb which disinfects it. This system costs between $300 and $400. Although the water purification process is acceptable, the power generation process has proven to be difficult and tiring to the end users: women and children. It is this team’s goal to decrease the amount of effort required to run the unit. We expect that it will be possible to do this either by increasing efficiency of the current hand crank design or by redesigning the power-generating portion of the unit. We also intend to decrease the cost of the product to make it more accessible. Through utilization of off-the-shelf components, we aim to produce a device that costs around $150. Through testing and benchmarking, we will deliver a prototype which is fun and easy for the end user. The redesign will preserve many features that exist on the current device, including operational-directive lighting, compatibility with 12V car batteries, and the entire water-conditioning process. The result will be a prototype which can be mass-produced more cheaply and easily than the current design and which encourages use by introducing an element of play, decreasing the amount of effort needed to run it, and through inclusion of simple but complete instructions.

use scenarios
Use Scenarios
  • Children playing and disinfecting water for the community
  • Women disinfecting water as a home business
  • Children and faculty in schools and orphanages using it to produce safe drinking water
  • Primary users are children (starting at 5 years old) and women
  • Centrifugal (e.g., Salad spinners)
  • Gravity
  • Gear ratios (e.g., Bicycles)
  • Cheap ergonomic seating
  • LED UVC bulb
  • Voltage Regulators - Zener, grounded, etc.
similar products
Similar Products
  • Hand-crank flashlights
  • Bike-powered generators
  • Home UV water purification systems
issues and risk assessment
Issues and Risk Assessment
  • The last iteration of BWM was not successful in making the unit easier to use.
  • An immediate design decision is crucial to moving forward.
  • Will we improve current design or create a new design?
  • More benchmarking will have to be done in the coming week.
  • We’ll compare different paths to assess risk in re-design.
possible negative impacts
Possible Negative Impacts
  • BWM users
    • Reduced manufacturing costs could lead to loss of comfort and a less ergonomic design
    • Off-the-shelf components could limit design
    • Reduced manufacturing costs could result in an increase in required effort
    • Durability could be compromised by decreased costs
    • “Fun” component may lead to abuse/mis-use by children
  • B-9 Plastics
    • Reducing required effort could increase manufacturing costs
    • A more ergonomic design could result in an increase in manufacturing costs
  • Our Team (P14418)
    • Satisfying the needs of only one of our customers could produce poor results for our team’s goals and the goals of RIT’s MSD program
picture http www proginosko com 2013 01 the most important question

Thank you for your time!