Posted by William Mullane | November 9, 2016
The Breathing Mobile Washer Co. is a startup company owned by Nampa entrepreneur, Jonathon Ball. It has been established to develop a range of services and products, starting with a hand-operated clothes washer. For several years Jonathon Ball has been investigating the idea of developing a “mobile washer” which could outperform an existing clothes washer product that has been on the market for many years. The washer has a pole handle and a cone-shaped base designed so that a hand pumping of the washer
forces water through clothing. It has huge potential in the Third World, where friction washing with hands, washboards and rocks is the common practice. The washer is much less abrasive and reduces wear of clothes. In the domestic market, potential uses include RV’’s, boats, camping and apartment living, as well as hand washing of delicate fabrics in every household. The Breathing Mobile Washer Co. had developed concept sketches of the “mobile washer”, which unlike its competition, had a non-rusting plastic base and a more effective internal water flow structure that pushed and pulled water through clothing. The plastic meant less labor-intensive production and the possibility of production rates 75 times greater than the competing model. The company now needed a product development process to take the product to market. Barbara and Jonathan Ball visited the TechHelp booth at the 2005 Governor’s Business Opportunity Conference where they were demonstrating the BMW device to government procurement officers. (Read how the BMW is being used in Iraq)
TechHelp was brought in to take the product through a staged process of design iterations, prototyping, and testing. The process began with a preliminary investigation, which involved creating a solid model and rapid prototype of the product. A more detailed investigation of the product was then possible. The early prototype was assessed, tested, and discussed and improvements were incorporated into a revised solid model and a second prototype. The new prototype was tested and the company, satisfied with the result, decided to proceed with production. It then sought Design for Manufacturing help, which included creating final solid model revisions, incorporating the draft angle into the component parts, and finally, generating engineering drawings.
- Staged product design process resulted in a product, technically superior to the original concept.
- Tooling investment made at local plastic injection molding company.
- Product was ready for first production run of 1500 units.
- Production can proceed on schedule.
Date: Thu, 26 Jun 2003
From: Tom Driscoll Medievac Pilot 112th Medevac Company Maine Army National Guard
Greetings from Kuwait, We have been using your washer up in Iraq for the past few weeks. Yesterday we flew back to Kuwait for a “rear area” rotation. Our aircrew was up in Ad Diwaniyah. We didn’t have washers available, so we used your device and a five gallon bucket. It worked great. Up in that part of Iraq it is very dusty. The topsoil was two to four inches of talcum powder consistency dirt… like walking on the moon. Each footstep caused a dust cloud. Anyway, we had fun washing our flight suits and underclothes each day. Sometimes we did several wash cycles and an additional rinse cycle. We got a big laugh out of the plunger. Here’s an idea for you. You should market additionally through the AAFES… the military’s WalMart. They setup in all these remote locations, and if you could get it on the shelf here, you’d sell a
bunch of ’em….
Enjoy freedom, Tom