Smart Plug – Optimization of design and material regarding environmental aspects : Mechanical design of an environmentally friendly Smart Plug

University essay from Karlstads universitet/Fakulteten för hälsa, natur- och teknikvetenskap (from 2013)

Author: Nadia Samson; [2020]

Keywords: ;

Abstract: A Smart Plug is a remote-controlled power socket that allows the user to, through an app, control any appliances that is plugged into the outlet. Since not all appliances are constructed with a smart function, the usage of a Smart Plug can be beneficial to facilitate the everyday life. Existing Smart Plug products from various companies are available on today’s market. Sigma Connectivity has therefore initiated this degree project with the ambition of constructing a Smart Plug distinguished from the others by optimizing the design and material selection with regard to environmentally friendly aspects.  The product concept development process generally consists of several different phases. Due to limitations in design and requirements, a traditional product concept development process was not followed. Customer requirements and wishes, as well as a preconstructed PCB assembly was given upon start of the project. The product concept development process consisted of a concept generation and a concept selection phase. The concept generation phase was performed by brainstorming where one product concept solution was determined and alterable parts of that concept was developed. Concept selection was executed on the alterable parts through Pahl and Beitz elimination matrix.  Injection molding was determined to be the optimal manufacturing method and it was determined after the concept selection was performed. The determination of manufacturing process for the Smart Plug was implemented in the early stages so potential design requirements could be applied in the three-dimensional design model. The three-dimensional model was created, where components of the Smart Plug were designed separately and later assembled into one product.  Material selection was performed on the plastic casing of the Smart Plug. The most promising candidate was the biodegradable thermoplastic Polylactic Acid.  Impact simulations were performed on the Smart Plug where the simulations corresponded to 1 meter drop simulations. The impact simulations were performed on both a rigid- and a wooden surface. The simulations resulted in high absorption of stresses for certain designed parts in almost all performed simulations. Design alterations on those parts is therefore necessary to perform. 

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