This webpage is an organized summary of all the work done during the first phase, Problem Definition. This page will serve as the presentation, including descriptions of each deliverable for the Problem Definition phase, image summaries of our work, and links and downloads of full versions of any relevant documents.
Team Vision for Problem Definition Phase
- The plan for this phase of the process was mainly to identify the correct problem that needed to be solved.
- Our team created deliverables for problem statement, use cases, customer requirements, engineering metrics, house of quality, benchmarking, and our project plan.
Project SummarySustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods (SOIL) is working to alleviate the severe lack of adequate sanitation facilities in urban Haiti by means of providing a portable dry toilet, designed to separate urine from feces, to households. Current models have received a 50% satisfaction rating without being the most cost-effective to manufacture, urging SOIL to entertain improvements to the design to better the current system. Excrement buckets are collected by SOIL employees while the urine is managed by the household, often being disposed of in the surrounding environment. A seat model was developed in 2005 which, along with other tested models, is too expensive to produce, does not sustainably manage urine and is not consistently effective for all users.This product and service pairing is intended to help reduce the spread of disease, repurpose the nutrients in urine, and improve the standard of living both in homes and the overall communities involved.
The goal of this project is to review relevant alternatives, consider feedback from users and improve upon the current system to improve ergonomics, increase separator efficiency, utilize effective means of recycling the nutrients from urine, reduce cost of production, and harbor a holistically sanitary experience. The expected end result is a functional prototype which can be produced and practiced for use.
The full pdf of the Project Summary can be found here.
Use CasesIt was important to identify different use cases throughout the design process to consider many of the possible outcomes that our project could encounter. Several use cases were outlined by the team including:
- The company's interaction with the client and typical toilet use
- Challenges each gender encounters when using the toilet
- The effects of prolonged human waste disposal in the surrounding community
- Challenges associated with bucket capacity
- The deterioration of the local water supply as urine is continually disposed of outside
A general use case can be seen below:
A more specific use case can be seen below:
The full document of our use cases can be seen here.
Project Goals and Key Deliverables
- Working toilet prototype
- Use of SOIL generated CAD drawing of urinal in modification to account for varying user needs and the reduction of cross-contamination of urine with feces
- Urine management system that meets local and health regulations
- Manufacturing plan for SOIL EkoLakay toilet, constructed local to Haiti
- Thorough and detailed design documentation with test data to validate
- Time permitting, implementing customer feedback in upgrading overall toilet model
Customer Requirements (Needs)
PurposeThe Customer Requirements were created with the goal of identifying desired product design elements to satisfy the end customer to the fullest extent.
When deciding upon the customer requirements, several factors were taken into consideration. An interview was conducted with a current SOIL employee. This person had personal experience in interacting with customers of the product.
The interview questions with typed notes can be found here.
From this interview, customer requirements were generated and assigned a priority of 1,3,9; 9 being a top priority, and 1 being lowest priority. These assigned priorities will be used in the House of Quality.
The table of the sorted customer requirements can be seen below.
In addition to a snapshot, a link to the live document is included here. This spreadsheet also includes our table on organized engineering metrics.
Engineering Requirements (Metrics & Specifications)
PurposeCreate a contract between the engineer and the customer where indisputable satisfaction of the engineering requirements equates to customer satisfaction
A download link to our team's designated engineering metrics can be found here. This spreadsheet also includes our table on organized customer requirements.
- The product must maintain use of the dry toilet concept
- The final product can be carried, ergonomically, by one person
- The product is easy to clean and disinfect
- The product must be capable of carrying the weight of a person seated on it
- The product adheres to local, social norms and expectations
- The product is compatible with the current 5 gallon bucket excreta container native to user households
- Cost of production is < $35USD
House of Quality
Our House of Quality was designed with the purpose of providing insight as to what aspects of the design need to be prioritized. This was done through the process of comparing the customer requirements to the engineering metrics.
Through continued research and discussion, the initial prioritized table was expanded into the full House of Quality.
An image of our summarized HoQ can be seen below:
The full House of Quality document can be downloaded here.
- Confirm that satisfaction of the Engineering Requirements implies that all of the Customer Requirements are met.
- Facilitate design trade off decisions
Design Review MaterialsOur Problem Definition Phase review will be held September 18, 2017 at 2:30 pm in GLE-4425.
Comments and Constructive Criticism
This section will be populated post review.
While benchmarking was done in consideration with both customer requirements and engineering metrics, for organizational purposes, it was decided that benchmarking would be included in its own section of this webpage.
Benchmarking is necessary for the design process because it draws inspiration from other similar products and notes what is successful and unsuccessful in each. This can help to optimize our own design for SOIL.
Benchmarking on customer requirements can be seen below:
Benchmarking on engineering metrics can be seen below:
Additional research on benchmarking can be seen in the attachment here.
For planning Risk Management it was important to consider all the realistic causes of product failure. This is necessary for planning into the next phase of this project to weigh the prevalence of risk with the likelihood of occurrence.
A simplified image of the categorized risks can be seen below:
A completed table of organized risks can be downloaded here.
Plans for next phase
- During the next phase of this project we plan to identify a system level scope of the design. More research and benchmarking will be done to account for additional challenges we may face.
- Our team has developed a project plan for this phase. The image of our intended schedule can be found below.
- As individual team members, we each have devised our own three week plan for the next phase of this design process. These plans can be seen below.
The Problem Definition Documents directory will provide a link to all uploaded documents for our team during this first phase.