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Case study
electronic
POTZ Balance

INDUSTRY: ELECTRONICS
COUNTRY: POLAND

POTZ Balance

This project highlights the continuation of a long-lasting partnership with the POTZ brand. Our client proposed an unconventional watch winder that provides a gyroscopic motion which reflects the natural movement of a wrist, that would normally wind a self-winding watch. The mechanism is well known among high-end watch winders, but in this case, we have added a rotating motion allowing us to wind the watch in an (almost) horizontal position.

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The aesthetics of the outer shell strongly correlate with the automotive industry, while the form looks towards high-quality audio equipment. All of this creates a unique product. 

The final user can choose a version with 1, 2, 3 or 4 cassettes. Suppose they previously owned a version with fewer cassettes. In that case, they can send their product back to the manufacturer for an upgrade and receive a watch winder with more cassettes by paying less than purchasing a brand new product.

predesign

In this case, the proof of concept was essential for further work. We had to check whether an idea in the form of a simplified 3D model would actually work. Several trials and rapid prototypes gave us confidence that this was a challenging but worthwhile route to explore. Based on these prototypes and knowledge from previous projects, we prioritised the functionality and defined the size of watches compatible with the cassettes we intended to design.

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The challenge was great because the client already had a well-defined style based on an earlier product. The added modularity feature opened up new possibilities and resulted in three different conceptual directions. One of these was based on the original Genesis design, and it was this version that the client decided to develop further.

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We worked through the details, discussing product functionality, cassette controls and electronics. We considered which button layout would be most beneficial and developed the cassette's final form along with the tabletop mounting feature.

mechanicaldesign

We spent a lot of time refining the final surfaces of the cassette model. But before that could happen, we had to choose the right motor drive and find the right place to put it. Initially, we tried to use the motor from the original Genesis model, but the compact design of the cassette did not allow us to place it in the right place. We turned to a brushless motor, which proved the perfect solution. The small size, high torque and holding capacity meant that more advanced mechanical design could be carried out, including the design of the motor support frame, electronics and moving rings. We developed a transmission mechanism that gave us exactly the movement we wanted while hiding the moving parts behind a neatly finished interior. The end result of this phase was a mechanical prototype that looked like the finished product. Of course, many aspects still needed refinement, but we successfully verified the basic assumptions.

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We created a so-called golden sample - a prototype that accurately reflects the final materials and assembly tolerances. We also prepared technical drawings and technological documentation so that the client had all the information necessary to start looking for production partners.

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The client collected the golden samples and progressed into production.

POTZ_Rotomat-4zegarki-exploded.386

The project highlights the continuation of a long-lasting partnership with POTZ brand. The client proposed an unconventional watch winder with a gyroscopic motion, reflecting the wrist's movements during the everyday use of a self-winding watch. The mechanism is well known among high-end watch winders, but in this case, we have also added rotating movement so that the watch can be winded in an (almost) horizontal position.

POTZ_Rotomat-4zegarki-exploded.522

POTZ Balance Watch Winder is an extension of the POTZ Genesis design - equipped with different motors.

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The biggest challenge was finding a suitable motor and electronic components, such as the display screen and the processor. A quiet BLDC motor was used to ensure minimal noise during operation. 

It was essential to figure out how the end-user would interact with the product. Our concept consisted of a menu, three buttons on the mainboard and individual controls on each of the four modules.

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We jumped straight to designing the first version of the module and motherboard.This was initially the basis for all development and testing.

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At this phase, it was essential we got the motor running, ensured communication between the motherboard & the modules and got the LEDs working. We designed a simple GUI with basic fonts and animations. In total, we developed three PCBs. Two for the module, and a smaller one connected to the button on the front panel.

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At this point it was crucial for us to ensure stable communication between the 4 modules and the motherboard, as the motor controllers were already working as we intended. Next, we progressed to designing the ''user flow'' - how the menu options should look like and what functions should each button perform. We also checked the application flow on an ongoing basis, performing the necessary tests, software upgrades etc. 

We provided our customer with documentation, including information on how to program the device and assemble it including a list of all the components.

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Because the mechanical components were custom-made, our client decided to stick to only one functional prototype. Needless to say, nailing everything at the first try is always a challenge but we did it! We also created test prints of all the mechanisms.

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The whole project was ready for production, and the files were ready to be uploaded to the processors. We created an application to upload the graphics, as the watch winder had an internal memory to store all the menus graphics.

POTZ_Rotomat-4zegarki-exploded.386

The project highlights the continuation of a long-lasting partnership with the POTZ brand. Our client proposed an unconventional watch winder that provides a gyroscopic motion which reflects the natural movement of a wrist, that would normally wind a self-winding watch. The mechanism is well known among high-end watch winders, but in this case, we have added a rotating motion allowing us to wind the watch in an (almost) horizontal position.

We are team

We are a team with a full range of knowledge in product development from A to Z. We believe that our most successful projects result from shared ideas and the good relationships we form with our clients.

Senior Industrial Designer
Mikołaj Wiewióra
Mikołaj
Embedded System Designer
Artur Niedbało
arni_(3)_700x700
Designer and Constructor
Anita Rogoża
anita
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