Ava UV

AvaUV

Research / UX Design / Industrial Design / Branding / Engineering / Production

AvaUV is a Tekna company, born out of the need to address emerging global health and wellness issues. This line of UV products work to provide comfort that the personal and professional tools you rely on are free from potentially harmful pathogens.

With years of infection prevention and disinfection development experience, we are utilizing our experience with UVC as a way to prevent microorganisms from replicating and spreading in any environment. This extra layer of clean can be done quickly and with no training required, making it accessible to anyone.

Originally designed for healthcare, it became clear that the need extends to any industry or environment. To do this, we’ve made it effective, efficient, and convenient to use anytime.

By bringing UV forward in your disinfection efforts and into the hands of everyone, you’re not only supporting a cleaner environment, you’re empowering individuals by providing their own control over their items.

Disinfection for the personal and professional tools you rely on

If you’d like to learn more visit www.avauv.com. Fill in the form below and one of our team members will get back to you!

Advanced

Industry leading UVC lamps and innovative disinfection chamber provide efficient cycle times.

Versatile

Created for the tools you need and the way you work – ready to use, configurable, and scalable.

Trusted

Built for success. Made in the USA by an ISO13485 Certified manufacturer.

Nara

Stryker Nara Tekna Portfolio

Nara Bassinet

Research / Human Factors / Industrial Design / Branding / Animation / Engineering / Production

Nara is our baby. It was internally created from the ground up as a new, innovative hospital bassinet. It was designed to bring mothers close to their newborns when it matters most and provide caregivers with a beautifully designed, safe, ergonomic care solution

manufacturing product nara
Nara Bassinet

We recognized that the bassinet market has been relatively ignored for decades. Current bassinets could be described as one of two things: a wood filing cabinet or a metal filing cabinet on wheels. We started to ask the question, why are we pushing newborn babies around on filing cabinets?


We started our research at the source – with NICU and mother/baby nurses. We heard complaints of bulkiness, uncleanliness, and inaccessibility that added up to an experience that was just plain clunky. We studied each person’s interactions and allowed their feedback to evolve our design. Some nurses were stooping and straining too much, others struggled to quietly and efficiently maneuver the bassinet, and mothers had trouble reaching for their babies from bed. It was clear we needed to develop a new solution.

Disclaimer: The following video is not hosted by Tekna. Any claims made in this video are by the video owner, not Tekna.
Nara Bassinet Sketch concepts
Nara Bassinet Sketch Concepts
Nara Bassinet Sketch Concepts

We implemented our iterative prototyping processes and leveraged sketch exploration, CAD development, in-house 3D printing, and fabrication methods to refine the aesthetic and functionality.

We conducted one-on-one user interviews, focus group discussions, and took full-scale mockups into the field to get feedback from people who would use this product every day.

Nara Bassinet
Nara Bassinet wooden prototype
Nara Bassinet weight and frame prototype
Nara Bassinet Aluminum frame

We conducted comprehensive formative and summative usability testing with Labor/Delivery and NICU nursing staff, hospital environmental services, and new moms. Their overwhelmingly positive responses validated the final design and new features.

As the product evolved, so did the brand, differentiating it in the market as approachable, caring, and inviting. Branding efforts included print material, animation, and video creation. The true value of experience that we were reinventing was taking shape but it needed a name, and ultimately we had to look outside the English language to capture its essence – Nara.

Research and Testing on a product
Good Design Award
Core77 Design Award

Nara received a Good Design® Award from Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design, as well as the Core77 Community Choice Prize, and a 2017 Core77 Notable Award in the Commercial Equipment category.

Nara Bassinet

Altogether, initial user research, opportunity identification, and industrial design grew to mechanical engineering, regulatory support, branding, and manufacturing for a Class II medical device. The exciting value propositions presented by our end product captured the interest of a major medical device manufacturer that led to an OEM opportunity for us. Our team ensured every bit of design intent was captured when we brought the product to life and delivered a solution that’s locally designed and manufactured, leveraging a supply chain based predominantly in Michigan.

Nara Bassinet Manufacturing

Collaborative Design for the Win in Creating Inclusive Products

Collaborative Design for the Win in Creating Inclusive Products

For 5 years, Tekna has partnered with Michigan Design Council’s Design Prize in collaboration with K-12 students, tackling a design challenge that combats societal issues linked to Michigan and beyond.

This year’s challenge was to inspire healthy exercise for K-12 students.

The inspired team to tackle this challenge was made up of Branch Area Career Center 11th grade students Caleb Jones, Steven Covell and Brianna Omo with educator lead, Marvin Gage. From Tekna, Kyle Spieker and Tony De Leo provided guidance and insights from an Industrial Design perspective.

The Solution

This talented team created the Inside Recess Activity (I.R.A). The motivation of the game is to work together in creating an interactive lighting experience. The kids chose one device that best matches their capabilities and work to rotate the interactive LED lights in the middle. When the peak goal is reached, the LED spotlights on the device spin, light up and fun emoji’s appear on the screen. To ensure the design addressed many limitations, it includes multiple attachments (rotary, linear) and includes tension adjustment knobs to make for fair play.

Most people know the feeling of being left out, whether at lunch, in the classroom, during recess, etc. This design is aimed at eliminating that feeling by including all students who wish to participate, regardless of their abilities. This product brings unity and collaboration into the classroom as the kids work together. The more they contribute, the greater the lighting experience.

This collaborative team took 2nd place, bringing home a silver!

How this design enhances the quality of life and improves the human condition for MI residents

The design solution will create a level playing field for all early elementary students to join in on an inside group activity regardless of limitations. The kids that engage in this activity will find a new common ground to bond over. On a greater scale, if we create awareness early on that there are many ways to make connections with people, it’ll build healthier habits as they grow into adulthood.

How Tekna was involved

To kick the project off, the students did an excellent job of outlining their problem and solution. From there, Tekna hosted the students onsite to challenge them to think further and build upon their foundation.

“There are so many benefits of being involved in the Michigan Design Prize each year. We are always so impressed with what the students come up with themselves and very rewarding to create additional impact on the project and open student’s eyes to what the creative field of Industrial Design has to offer. The idea of inspiring future Industrial Designers and showing students that their ideas and voices matter is what keeps us engaged in this program year after year”
—Tony De Leo, Principle Industrial Designer at Tekna

More About Michigan Design Prize

The focus of the Michigan Design Prize program is to open the eyes of younger students to the creative field of design, creating a hands-on experience with design professionals and helping them understand what Michigan has to offer.

For more information, check them out at https://www.michigandesigncouncil.org/

The Need for Speed

Race car driving

The Need for Speed

From a young age, engineer Mike Gruizinga has been fascinated with speed and racing. What began as a keen interest in motocross, quickly developed into a love of racing cars. Mike has sported several vehicles in the past, including a beefed up Geo Metro, to fulfill his endurance racing dreams in the 24 Hours of Lemons racing series.

racecar with a rainbow stripe

His current ride, a gray 1984 Nissan 300zx Turbo, has become his main focus for the last year. It has been a long time coming for this combo to come to fruition, as Mike has owned the Nissan in one form or another for nearly 16 years. Recently, he has been bringing his car to GingerMan, the local race track, for testing and development. Mike finds wheel to wheel racing to be an exhilarating outlet, and is currently pursuing that branch of racing.

race car on the track

If Mike isn’t racing for himself, he is sharing his love and knowledge of the sport with other enthusiasts through training opportunities brought to the track by Gridlife and AutoInterest. Several times during the year, Mike will take beginner, intermediate, and advanced drivers around the track to show them the ropes of racing. Beginners are typically paired with an instructor for their first few track events to help them gage their turns, speed, and technique. Mike thoroughly enjoys instructing others, as he finds it incredibly rewarding to introduce, mentor and coach others interested in a shared passion.

As any well-versed car lover knows, where there are cars, there are repairs, maintenance, modifications, and improvements. As an engineer, Mike feels right at home working on his cars. He enjoys working with his hands and adores having a tremendous outlet for some of his design engineer energy. To support these modifications on his passion projects, Mike has restored several vintage machines including a drill press and horizontal milling machine. In addition, he has also designed and built custom workbenches, including a fixture bench for welding.

lifting an engine

You can keep up with Mike’s racing by following him on Youtube https://youtube.com/channel/UCw7ZF1XmxBtNnU2NahJ3x7A

To learn more about local racing, visit https://www.gingermanraceway.com

Global Innovation Awards

GIA Global Innovation Awards

Global Innovation Awards

We are excited to celebrate the accomplishments of our very own Eve Berndt at the Global Innovation Awards! Eve, along with two other students, designed a system of products called ReFresh for their Senior Thesis project at MIAD (Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design), aspiring to introduce a more sustainable, eco-friendly approach to grocery shopping. Working together to identify the need within the industry and create the Refresh system, they each picked a sustainable product to focus on within the Refresh project. Eve focused on a reusable and returnable grocery carrier and container system. Bern

Sketches

While businesses and consumers are pushing more and more for eco-friendly alternatives to single-use plastic bags and packaging in grocery stores, ReFresh offers a shopping solution that is more durable, easier to recycle, and easier to organize.

Designed to be a “pack as you go” system with efficient modular organization, the ReFresh containers and carriers can allow shoppers to collect custom amounts of dry goods and unpackaged produce in a formulated way. ReFresh components can be easily sanitized after each use, to ensure safe and healthy shopping experiences. The lifespan of the components are long and fulfilling, however, when the products do reach the end of their lifespan, the plastic can be completely broken down and turned into usable PET plastic once more. The durability and longevity of ReFresh products is of more value than using recyclable, one-use paper bags, further enhancing a low-waste future in the grocery industry.

Eve design prize

After months of dedicated work and design, the team’s innovative solution took home third place! We applaud Eve’s ambition and drive both on her personal projects, and in the office. In the handful of months she has been a part of our team, she has shown great potential, work ethic, and talent, and we can’t wait to see all of the amazing projects she will interact with at Tekna!

If you’d like to learn more about ReFresh and Eve’s design process, visit

https://eveberndt.myportfolio.com/thesis.

Digimate

Digimate

Branding

Digimate is a reusable buddy splint product designed to join two fingers together to promote healing. Created by an orthopedic surgeon, it’s designed to put comfort and function first. We developed this brand to be approachable, yet professional – a sure standout amongst the competition.

To kick off the nomenclature portion of the project, we set up a series of working sessions. Through Microsoft Teams meetings, we interviewed our client to understand his field and to discuss the engineering and intent of the product. Throughout that process, we generated a list of themes in which to categorize our bank of words. With guidance from our research, we assembled an array of names that were not only intentional, but also memorable.

To visualize the full picture of the feel that the brand should go, we created four different mood boards with different colors themes, and overall brand representation.

We chose Mollen as the brand’s primary typeface, including some customizations to create the logo itself,

We explored multiple different logo variations before the final decision was made. Once we knew the logo, we did a color study to understand which colors best fit the desired brand experience and tone that we set with the mood board.

“Digi” represents the hand by calling out the fingers, or digits. “Mate” represents the joining of the injured and uninjured finger that creates a pair when the product is in use. Brought together, this name suggests the brand’s friendly and approachable tone. By turning the “D” in Digimate, you get the hand icon (shown here above the logo). This not only shows the product in use, but also represents the state of Michigan where the product was developed.

The tagline, “Comfort & function first” highlights the values and benefits of the product. These were the first two things Dr. Mayor addressed in his design, and are factors that other splints fail to accomplish. The Digimate splint is also the first product that Dr. Mayor has created and is emphasized by the word “first” in the mark’s tagline.

AvaUV

AvaUV

Research / UX Design / Industrial Design / Branding / Engineering / Production

AvaUV is a Tekna company, born out of the need to address emerging global health and wellness issues. This line of UV products work to provide comfort that the personal and professional tools you rely on are free from potentially harmful pathogens.

With years of infection prevention and disinfection development experience, we are utilizing our experience with UVC as a way to prevent microorganisms from replicating and spreading in any environment. This extra layer of clean can be done quickly and with no training required, making it accessible to anyone.

Originally designed for healthcare, it became clear that the need extends to any industry or environment. To do this, we’ve made it effective, efficient, and convenient to use anytime.

By bringing UV forward in your disinfection efforts and into the hands of everyone, you’re not only supporting a cleaner environment, you’re empowering individuals by providing their own control over their items.

Disinfection for the personal and professional tools you rely on

If you’d like to learn more visit www.avauv.com. Fill in the form below and one of our team members will get back to you!

Advanced

Industry leading UVC lamps and innovative disinfection chamber provide efficient cycle times.

Versatile

Created for the tools you need and the way you work – ready to use, configurable, and scalable.

Trusted

Built for success. Made in the USA by an ISO13485 Certified manufacturer.

Responding to the Need – PPE for the COVID-19 Pandemic

Responding to the Need – PPE for the COVID-19 Pandemic

We can’t express enough gratitude to all of the healthcare professionals working so hard to care for us in a great time of need! As hospitals have struggled to get the protective equipment needed for their healthcare providers, we partnered with local companies Fabri-Kal, Schupan & Sons, and Southwest Michigan First to make face shields.

Bronson Healthcare requested support from Southwest Michigan First to acquire additional Personal Protection Equipment (PPE). With input from health care professionals, our companies were able to collaborate and adapt a concept design provided by Global Center for Medical Innovation (GCMI) consortium in less than one week.

Each organization leveraged its specialty in the project. Fabri-Kal formed and cut the plastic shields then handed them off to Schupan & Sons to prepare the shields for assembly. We funneled all of the components of the project—foam, elastic and plastic shield—in order to assemble and then deliver to area hospitals.

Our manufacturing space and operations were at full capacity working on a different COVID-19 relief project so we set up the face shield line at our Innovation facility. Without assembly crew members, our designers and engineers stepped up and stepped into the role. Hear from Cassidy Taylor, a graphic designer who worked on the assembly line:

“One of the greatest things I’ve learned is how important it is to be flexible. With everything that has been happening in our world, country, and our own towns, society has made significant changes to our daily lives. It’s a scary time and an anxious time, but I’m also finding more and more moments of hope. One of those moments of great hope is Tekna’s ambition and ability to jump forward. In a matter of two weeks, we transformed our capabilities into one that is bringing hope and resources to not only people in our immediate community, but also to people far beyond our town.

I was asked to contribute to the production of the protective face shields that the hospital workers so desperately need. I spent the week rotating between stations on the production line with several other members of the company. From adhering the foam pad to the plastic shield, to bagging the completed product for shipping, we worked together to speed the production along. My coworkers and I come from desk jobs and we aren’t used to working on an assembly line. While the work is tedious and it’s not the normal graphic design work I’m used to, I actually found it to be pretty refreshing and it was nice to use a different side of my brain. The team and I also experienced a completely new type of collaboration. It encouraged all of us to remain flexible in our skills and minds, we communicated constantly, and worked together to achieve the goal of making as many masks as we could in each day. This experience was incredibly rewarding to be a part of! I’m so proud of the company, the team, and I’m thrilled to have the experience of bringing people hope and solace!” – Cassidy Taylor

New Year, New Look, New Website

New Website - New Year New Look

New Year, New Look, New Website

It’s hard to believe it’s been four years since we launched our rebrand and new website. At the same time, it feels like it’s exactly who we’ve always been. Then, our focus was on creating our brand identity – determining what makes us who we are and starting to share that with the world. It was just the beginning.

New Website - New Year, New Look - Tekna brand and site revamp

Now, with something really refreshing about the year 2020, we’ve built on that story and designed and developed a new website centered around our collective mission to create meaningful product and brand experiences. This evolution provides more visibility into how we work, what it’s like to work with us, and showcases our breadth of experience in a way we’ve never done before. While we’ve highlighted each of our services separately, we hope what rings true is how we’re all connected. It’s our multi-disciplinary approach and our collective expertise that allows us to create experiences with greater impact.

RetroFit Cart

Retrofit Tekna Portfolio

RetroFit Cart

Industrial Design

We were approached by Dr. Ron Bochner with an idea for a device that wheels up to the foot of a hospital bed and enables a physician to perform optimal bedside exams with the comfort and ease of a full exam table. This concept was presented with a strong idea and a rough, wood model. The initial design phase began with extensive research and market analysis. This information was interpreted through sketching several ideas and presenting back to our customer.

Retrofit Cart Expanded View
Retrofit Cart Operational Sketches

Once a final direction was decided, the team quickly moved to full-size volume study models in order to understand the space and the storage requirements in real world dimensions.

The finished design concept was taken to our engineering department for design-for-manufacturing. This involved flushing out the details for the mechanics of the design, manufacturability, and material stress analysis. The cart is now a strong example of our team bringing an idea from concept straight through to full manufacturing.

Retrofit Cart wooden prototype
Retrofit Cart final rendering