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Case Study

EASi Assists in Creating Durable, Disposable and Low-Cost TB Test Device

To support a client’s mission to treat TB in developing countries, EASi developed a testing device that was effective and easy to produce in large quantities.

The client and challenge
The customer, a private company that focuses on the development and licensing of intellectual property, was developing a product to test for tuberculosis (TB) in the third world. The existing test device in circulation was expensive and difficult to administer. To be better suited for the environment, the customer sought to create a plastic replacement and design it to be disposable and inexpensive when produced in large quantities.

However, the client’s experiment with readily-available products in the market was failing due to the instability of the plastic housing. The client had not budgeted for additional analysis or design effort and did not have in-house capacity or expertise in plastic product design.

The EASi solution
To support the client’s mission and help assist in the treatment of TB in developing countries, EASi offered to investigate the failure and evaluate if a durable, disposable and low-cost solution could be determined. We supported the project from one of our delivery centers in India. The customer provided us with a fabricated filter housing system prototype (included assembly, caulk gun, syringe pump and base) and sent it to our team along with all CAD files and specification sheets.

EASi conducted the concept development, experimentation and testing necessary to create a functional plastic housing that would meet the customer’s performance specifications, cost less and be more user-friendly. We employed a collaborative approach through regular concept/design reviews and customer feedback.

We developed and assessed four different plastic mold concept designs that would withstand 240 psi. For each concept, we provided CAD, FEA (stress/displacement on the plastic part) and an estimation of product cost, considering the expected bill of material and tooling.

Material investigations were conducted to identify the most cost-efficient option to meet the product requirements. We considered the pressure timeline for the product and designed it:

  • With non-reactive materials
  • For one-time use
  • To be easy to carry in rural areas

We also conducted research for an alternate filter membrane in APAC. The product is not electrically powered, so we developed several concepts for pressure-generating mechanisms and presented pros and cons to our customer based on product specs.

Concepts included:

  • Wire locking mechanism
  • Toggle clamping mechanism
  • Flange locking mechanism
  • Vertical press type mechanism
  • Two half cage horizontal opening

Following several iterative reviews with the customer and freezing the chosen concept, we finalized the CAD model. Design for manufacturing principles were applied to the final concept. We validated an ABS material which could be machined for the filter housing to prove the filter seating and pressure performance met specifications.

Final deliverables to the customer included CAD for the chosen design, FEA reports and market research details for the new alternative filter membrane. Our support enabled the customer to prove that an affordable medical product could be brought to the market. The final product met all customer specifications and is:

  • Cost-competent
  • Disposable and environmentally-friendly
  • Easy to manufacture, using an injection molding process
  • Easy to install and handle in the field

EASi is proud to have supported this project due to the positive impact the product will have on developing countries. Based on the significance of our contribution, the customer was able to move forward with a project that had been stalled.