Premium surgical equipment needs to be protected well when not in use to prevent damage and ensure the product is safely operational when needed. Integra Life Sciences worked with Priority Designs to create a high quality carry case to store and organize the surgical headlamp and all accessory components.
With the help of our industrial design, soft goods, and prototyping specialist, our team delivered a best-in-class solution. The carry case was developed from initial concept with phases of soft goods engineering, in-house hard goods and soft goods fabrication, iterative prototyping and ultimately helping Integra hand off the final design for manufacturing. The case helps communicate and protect the high-quality product within, reduce repairs, and maintains the original cost target.
Integra® DUO LED Surgical Headlight System is a premium headlamp worn by surgeons during operation, often for long periods of time. When not in use, the headlight is intended to be safely stored in a carry case containing the accompanying accessories.
The existing case was a drawstring bag composed of generic cordura materials and foam sewn into a tube, with pockets sewn on the outside. The current drawstring carry bag was not reflective of the premium product it housed. A major goal of the redesign was to assure the external carry case was indicative of the quality of the complete system.
All the pockets on the carry bag looked similar, which caused surgeons to struggle to find the accessory items they needed. This resulted in the headlamps being removed permanently from the bag, hung on hooks, and exposing them to damage.
The client asked Priority Designs to design, develop, and assist with transfer to manufacturing. The new case should allow surgeons to organize and protect all the elements of Integra’s new headlight design, all while communicating its premium brand. The goal was for the new carrying case design to consist of these main features:
- A cost target at or below what they were currently paying for the carry bag.
- A specific location for all individual components and accessories included, with visual cues for corresponding pocket location.
- Carried through branding elements consistent with the headlamp design.
- Protection for the headlight and all accessories during storage and transport.
With these requirements in mind, we set out to develop a premium protective carry case from concept to production support.
The Priority Designs team undertook comprehensive 2D sketching and conceptualization to develop the form, function, and aesthetics of the case. During this step, there were three rounds of refinement including exploration of sketch illustrations and iconography communicating which accessories go in each pocket.
With the concept direction clarified, CAD models and KeyShot renderings were created to visualize the design and confirm the refined concept with the client. The original intent was to create a compression molded (fabric covered case). Due to the large format of the case, coupled with Priority Designs industry experience with thermoforming softgoods, the team recommended vacuum formed plastic/molded parts as the best option moving forward.
To test the functional components of the design, iterative prototyping played a huge role in the development of the projects. Material sourcing for appropriate fabrics, hardware, and webbing for the prototype were very important to create a premium product while still hitting a certain cost target. Priority Designs used their knowledge of textiles, foams, construction, and assembly techniques to hit that target.
We used a variety of mixed processes in house, such as:
- Material and hardware sourcing and acquisition
- Textile lamination for vacuum forming of parts
- Laser cutting of all internal foam and vinyl (for iconography)
- Sewn assembly of all textiles and molded parts to form the case
- CNC machined volume studies
With the functional prototype, the lid was covered with laminated textile to get the desired look and feel and was painted on the bottom/base with a textured grey to match the textile. In production, the team ultimately decided to have a plastic exterior surface for long term durability.
The design allowed for every accessory to have its own pocket and spot all in one plane. Upon review of the functional prototype, it was clear that this made the case very large, and too far of a departure from the original size. Priority Designs sketched and created CAD layouts to reduce the overall size by arranging the parts with the most efficiency possible. The efforts resulted in a 45% reduction of the overall size!
In the transfer to manufacturing services, Priority Designs created a detailed Design Intent Document containing the following: overall construction, design parameters, key assembly details, and contents required & use cases for each. Additionally, the manufacturing partner was supplied with all CAD files for the updated final design.
The final solution is a molded case with soft goods components that allow for safe storage of the headlamp and easily accessible accessories. The materials, presentation, and the small details (such as the custom zipper pulls) exude the premium quality of the product within. The case includes a specific location for all individual components and accessories, visual cues for corresponding pocket location, and and carries consistent branding elements along with the headlamp design. Additionally, the team hit a cost target below what was currently being paid for the carry bag!
The efficient design allows users to safely store important equipment. Additionally, the case improves the process of stowing and finding the correct accessory needed such as additional batteries or chargers.
Increasing the premium aesthetic of the case easily allows sales representatives to communicate the premium level of the headlights and all its features. The carry case offers better protection of the headlight and its accessories when stowed, ideally causing less repairs needed for the product.