Petmate make pond pumps, filters and other pet products. Pond filters usually need to be cleaned on a weekly basis. It is a dirty job that usually involves stripping down the unit and washing out the accumulated sludge with clean water.
The brief was to design a pressurised filter that could be installed out of sight and easily cleaned. We came up with the idea that the filter could be self cleaning, thus eliminating the need to take it apart. The innovative design uses a unique three-way valve that harnesses the pressure created by the pond pump to squeeze the dirt out of the filter. In fact, the more clogged up the filter becomes, the greater the squeeze. Finally, the valve is switched to flush out the sludge, which can then be used as garden fertiliser.
As well as producing initial sketch layouts and working prototypes, as part of the design development phase of the project, we were asked to asses costs and feasibility of various manufacturing methods. We also supplied photo realistic CAD renderings of various styling options to help Petmate's management team decide on the final product design and manufacturing method. A full suite of 3D solid model files and 2D drawings were then supplied for manufacture.
The concept has been patented, and was launched in 2002 to great acclaim. Goodwin have since been asked back to design more of the Petmate range.