Industrial design with user interface

Armstrong Fluid Technology

This project involved leading the design efforts along with an industrial design firm on an integrated pump with a touchscreen interface, while introducing the next level of design to Armstrong’s products and digital user experiences. This industrial design language effectively differentiates Armstrong products from the competition. The Armstrong family of pumps integrates an intelligent drive and motor, which until recently were separated in a mechanical room. Further integrated into the design is a touch screen interface totally distinct from the competition, which I share a patent for with two Armstrong engineers.

There were many engineering requirements that had to be taken into account when considering the industrial design. Heat deflection, limitations of casting, limitations of the touchscreen interface technology, printing technology, location of electronics behind-the-scenes, and of course cost of manufacturing. Having developed a signature parabolic shape to be featured on all Armstrong products, a plastic ‘shroud’ was designed in partnership with Design 1st of Ottawa that would be applied to the motor supplied by a third party. This covering had to work proportionally with multiple pump sizes in the family. The user interface was developed using rapid prototyping methodology in partnership with customers who were invited to test the experience. A library of icons were designed to bring an intuitive mind-mapping experience to customer’s interactions with interface. The method of prototyping alongside customers was recognized as a valuable tool for design at Armstrong, heightening the strategic role of design in the company.