Today, more than one billion people of the world’s population are without access to safe drinking water. To help these people Vestergaard Frandsen has developed the LifeStraw Family. This is a unique water filter that filters bacteria and viruses out of contaminated water without the use of chemicals, electricity, heat or uv-light. BPO helped with the quick optimisation of the product to ensure it will do its job during the required lifespan of at least 3 years or 18.000 litres of filtered water.

To prevent problems often associated with plastics, for instance stress cracking, creep and aging of the plastic, BPO was called in to analyse the design and incorporate improvements where needed.

The product was examined with help of an FMEA (Failure Mode and Effect Analysis). With help of this FMEA, an extensive test program was written and the weak points of the design were pointed out. From here two development directions were chosen. The first was a quick optimisation of the current design so products can be sent out to people in urgent need, and the second direction was a complete redesign to improve the function of the product and the acceptability of the end user.

In the quick optimisation process BPO has advised to use different materials for the product. These materials are both strong enough to withstand heat, cold, a variety of drop tests, and are, of course, food approved. BPO also made changes to the two taps without the need for new moulds. With a very detailed 2K solution the taps are watertight even after 50.000 open/close cycles.

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