When not in use, high end surgical equipment should be stored in a way to both protect the system and allow all critical parts to be stored together. This assures the product is operational when needed. Integra Life Sciences partnered with Priority Designs to create a premium carry case to store and organize the surgical headlamp and all accessory components, while meeting strict cost targets.
With the help of our industrial design, soft goods, and prototyping specialists, our team delivered a best-in-class solution that was a significant improvement over the industry standard draw string bag. This effort included soft goods design and engineering, in-house hard goods and soft goods prototype fabrication, iterative prototyping and transition to final manufacturing. The medical soft goods protective case protects the high end optical headlamp during storage, and outwardly communicates the high-quality product within and the premium user experience expected from Integra products.
Integra® DUO LED Surgical Headlight System is a premium headlamp worn by surgeons during surgeries, 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 drawstring carry bag was not reflective of the premium product it housed, nor did it provide adequate protection. 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.
Integra tasked Priority Designs to design, develop, and assist with transferring the new bag to manufacturing. The new case allows surgeons to organize and protect all elements of Integra’s headlight design 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 the current cost of the drawstring bag.
- A specific location for all individual components and accessories included, with visual cues for corresponding pocket location.
- Branding elements which are 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 medical soft goods protective 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 phase, 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 Integra. The original intent was to create a compression molded (fabric covered case). Due to the large format of the case, our experience with thermoforming soft goods led 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 critical role in the development process. 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 our knowledge of textiles, foams, construction, and assembly techniques to hit that target. As an example, the functional prototype lid was covered with laminated textile to get the desired look and feel and the bottom base was was painted with a textured grey to match the textile. In production, the team ultimately decided to have a plastic exterior surface for long term durability.
To expedite the design and prototyping process, we leveraged a number of in-house capabilities which shaved weeks off the typical timelines of overseas prototyping companies. Some of the internal capabilities leveraged are:
- 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
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 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, resulting 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 of the medical soft goods protective case.
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.