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ONE TOUCH™ CAN OPENER INTERNATIONAL DESIGN EXCELLENCE AWARDS 2007 GOLD WINNER CASE STUDY

One Touch ™ Can Opener

With sales of over 25 million units each year, the can opener is perhaps the quintessential everyday tool. Since its invention in 858 many different types of can opener varying in design and operating mechanism have been brought to market leaving what seemed to be limited space for any significant innovation.

With no real change in the concept for many years and yet nearly half a representative sample of test users reporting that the strength needed to grip a manual can opener’s levers while simultaneously turning the handle was beyond their comfort level, DAKA set out to design a cordless, hands-free can opener that could be easily used by anyone to open a can with the simple touch of a button.

The result was a multi award-winning, international best selling product.

The Problem

For a can opener to cut through a can, it firstly needs to grip the can with a force of approximately 50Kg (00 lbs) and then requires an additional burst of power to actually pierce the can lid. When a person uses a manual can opener, the application of appropriate force is instinctively adjusted until it is sufficient to successfully open the can.

To reproduce this in an automatic mechanism is not easy as evidenced by the many electric can openers that still require human force to pierce the lid and start the cutting action. What was needed was a mechanism that could not only walk the cutting blade around the can automatically as many existing automatic can openers do, but one that could also initiate the cutting action without manual intervention.

Additionally, for the can opener to be truly automated from start to finish, either a sensor circuit or a timer needed to be included in order to bring the opener to a stop when a full cycle around the can was complete and the can fully opened.

Furthermore, the internal mechanism, the motor, power source, gearing, cutting mechanism and timer/sensor circuit needed to be packaged into a user friendly, hand sized unit that would fit neatly into an average kitchen drawer.

And finally in order to meet size, efficiency and requisite force criteria, sufficient power needed to be obtained from just two small AA batteries.

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