Angel: Central Water Filter System
The re-design of 3 central water purifiers encompassed a significantly enhanced product architecture & usability
With the rise of cartridge based water filters in the Greater China region market leader Angel also planned to create a series of large RO-based central water filters suitable for larger households. Providing clean drinking water to millions of people the brand is continuously extending its line-up of water hygiene and consumption products, driven to create an ecosystem of products useful within a large range of different use environments.
Using a similar enclosure architecture as water softeners the old generation of central water purifiers was based on a decade-old design, usually equipped with carbon activated filters that don’t have to be replaced often (mostly self cleaning). Considering the largely different settings of water pollutants and contaminants in the Greater China region the use of Reverse Osmosis filters is indispensable, yet, coming with the drawback of having to replace the filter membrane periodically.
Closely collaborating with Angel our team had to identify the main challenges that prevented the current generation of central water filtration systems achieving mainstream market adoption as well as discovering the major customer pain-points, specifically the exhaustive as well as messy replacement of the mud-dirty RO membranes. With our findings pointing towards a clever carry mechanism of the internal RO filter membrane, modern aesthetics and a space-efficient footprint the design direction was ready to kickoff the ideation.
What we did: Designing the filter system inside-out our designers first aimed to simplify the enclosure’s internal arrangement, in particular the layout of the cylindric water container and internal pipes, accomplishing a 50% smaller footprint than the old CWP system. Additionally to the overall space savings the pipe valves were directed 45 degrees upwards, easing the process of connecting the inlet and outlet hoses in cramped spaces.
Instead of using plastic for the pressure-sealed water container the project team considered steel to increase the water throughput (allowing higher pressure) and overall better filtering performance. Biological fouling (toxic pathogens) frequently occurring in plastic cartridges of RO membranes is decreased in the stainless steel cylinder of the CWP, also facilitating much quicker cleaning by Angel’s service staff when visiting customers directly at home.
For the replaceable RO membrane we developed a practical carry enclosure, mimicking an interference pattern of concentric wave lines. This also enabled Angel to better showcase the enhanced performance of the CWP at the point of sale, making its benefits through design more visible to consumers. The membrane enclosure also helped to speed up customer servicing times and prevents dirt-flooded pantries or bathrooms.
Envary also simplified the previously exposed user interface, integrating the pressure and flow status as a backlit display in the upper front area of the detachable lid. The CWP comes in 3 different sizes, launched in China 2018 .