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Just heat_it? - Small insight into the production

Heat_it in Karlsruhe


Dear heat_it enthusiasts,

today we want to give you some insights into the technology of heat_it and the daily work of our production. If you are done reading this article:

  • you know how heat_it works
  • learn about problems and solutions during our development
  • get an impression of what it means to bring a product to series production
  • you´ll want to study mechanical engineering (or not) 😉
Let's go! 

Every new beginning is difficult ...

The process from an innovative idea to a ready for sale medical device is a long, rocky and exciting path. It is characterized by new ideas, approaches for improvement and constantly new challenges. Oftentimes we had thoughts like: "This is now the problem with which we can no longer deal and which puts an end to all the effort we put into it". Over time, however, we have become used to setbacks and know from experience: “Somehow it has always worked out”.
 
With the first designs of heat_it, we initially tried different ideas and built prototypes that differ in shape, size, color and material. To give you an idea of this change and the product development process, let's take a look at a wood heat_it from 2017.
 

 

 

 

From a wooden prototype to heat_it

Ecological, elegant design and great haptic, that was our idea. We created a prototype with a wooden case and were initially very pleased with the result. We proudly presented the prototype to the press and the public and the feedback was mostly positive.
With time it became clear that the student project would become a serial product and this is where the first concerns came into play. Is it even realizable to produce thousands of heat_it from wood for cost and environmental reasons? - The answer is no. First of all, the wood must be reinforced with synthetic resin so that it is robust enough for the thin wall thicknesses.

And what about an economical, resource-saving production?- Nothing: Each heat_it would have to be laboriously milled individually "from the solid": In other words, more than 50 % of the material would be generated as waste directly in production.

Conclusion: A single wooden prototype looks great, but is too costly in production and is not very ecological. So, what does that mean for us? Keep on searching and develop new concepts!

After further ideas, prototypes, serious setbacks and a lot of progress, we finally decided on high-quality plastic. This robust material can be produced economically, is more hygienic than wood and therefore has the best prerequisites for a medical product. heat_it looks good, or what do you think?
 

Holz Prototyp und heat_it
The development from wood prototypes to heat_it

heat_it - great technology in a small space

To understand the function of the heat_it better, it is worth taking a look inside.

The "heart" of heat_it is the circuit board on which all relevant components are soldered and are the electric circuit of heat_it. In the center, there is the microcontroller, i.e. a small "computer" that enables the communication between the individual components and the smartphone. So, after you have selected your settings for the treatment in our app, the app communicates with the microcontroller of heat_it, which in turn controls the treatment duration and temperature.

But having a finished prototype is only one half of the battle. The whole thing has to be produced in large quantities and high quality. And that's a bigger challenge than you might think at first.
 

Einzelteile heat_it
The individual parts of one heat_it
 

So where is heat_it produced?

We produce our heat_it in beautiful Karlsruhe! This is the only way we can guarantee best quality "Made in Germany" and at the same time pay attention to our ecological footprint. I know my co-founders Lukas, Stefan and Armin from our mechanical engineering studies, so the technical background fits. Nevertheless, setting up your own production facility should not be underestimated, but it was an exciting challenge that we were able to master.
In many single steps the soldering of the individual components, the assembly, the programming and the final test of each heat_it is done by our team.
In the final stages, the heat_it is packed and goes on sale.

Convinced?

It doesn't sound that complicated, does it?
If you are studying something technical yourself and would like to join our team, get in touch with me. We are always looking for motivated students who are looking for new challenges in a start-up.  

And for everyone else, I hope this has been an interesting insight into the technology behind heat_it.

So the next time you treat an insect bite with our heat_it, not only will your pain be relieved, but you can also explain to your friends how heat_it works exactly. Just heat_it!

See you next time.

Your Christof

PS: You have ideas, tips or feedback for us? Then please let us know.


 

Christof