MAGNET: Driving Innovation With Next-Generation, Leak-Proof Flush Valve
MAGNET Product Design and Development, an Ohio Edison Technology Center, is the region’s manufacturing consulting organization with the aim of stimulating growth and helping manufacturers become more competitive.
Wally Berry, CEO of American Innovative Products wanted to help solve the urgent need for water conservation and diligently researched the root cause of water-loss in single-dwelling homes. The culprit? Faulty toilet valves.
Research indicates that more than 85 percent of water leakage in residential plumbing systems is found in the toilet and a majority of toilet leaks are caused by faulty or worn flappers. A silent leak in a toilet can waste 500 gallons of water a day, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that there are more than 222 million residential toilets - containing toilet flappers developed in the 1950s and designed to last for only up to three years - which means the United States is losing billions of gallons of water on any given day due to faulty toilet flappers.
With the help of MAGNET’s Product Design & Development team and Invention Machine's Goldfire, American Innovative Products pursued a next generation design that would be commercially viable. MAGNET product designers used Invention Machine’s innovation software to identify the root cause of water leakage, analyze technology trends and materials, play out the consequences of design features to ensure the validity of the concept and anticipate future failure points. Goldfire also recommended concepts outside the engineers’ sphere of expertise and offered viable solutions that expedited the idea-to-product process. American Innovative Products has patented the EnviroFlush, the world’s first anti-leak toilet flapper. This revolutionary design not only eliminates water-leakage, but also uses 50 percent fewer parts than the standard flush mechanism technology.
American Innovative's Berry says Invention Machine’s innovation software cut development costs by 75%, and that's assuming the product could have been developed in the first place. "Without Goldfire's definition of what we needed, we'd probably still be looking," he says.
Market-ready engineering design and manufacturing plan
Used Goldfire to rapidly evolve system design for breakthrough solution
“We could not have designed and manufactured EnviroFlush as quickly or efficiently without Invention Machine. Goldfire was key in helping us converge unique ideas from various fields, including the lifesciences technology which we adopted into the design.”
- Dave Pierson, Sr. Design Engineer; MAGNET
"MAGNET and Invention Machine turned my idea into a revolutionary new product and delivered more than 56 percent savings on my anticipated cost."
-Wally Berry, CEO; American Innovative Products