Mathys is a Swiss company that develops and manufactures orthopedic products. The balanSys knee implants being one of their principal product lines. To install these knee implants, Mathys provides surgeons with a dedicated set of tools. We were asked to redesign one of these tools: the balanSys Pliers.
The balanSys Pliers is a surgical tool used to insert and remove pins into and from the knee when preparing the joint for an implant. Since this precision surgery requires a lot of tools simultaneously, the pliers are designed for single hand use. They lock around the pin shuts when pulled, which allows the surgeon to tightly grab around both legs while handling the nails. The pliers are released again by pushing the legs open.
Since the pliers are an intensively used tool to perform a critical task, ergonomics are key. The dimensions are optimized to accommodate both small and large hands. The shape of de pliers allows for multiple gripping styles and ease of use with gloved hands.
For hygienic reasons, the pliers are made out of stainless steel. To provide maximal comfort in spite of this material, all surfaces to be gripped or pushed, are rounded.
It is needless to say that surgical instruments need to be cleaned regularly and thoroughly. With this in mind, we avoided overlapping surfaces or left enough intermediate space for water to pass through and prevent the accumulation of residues.
The previous styling of the pliers resembled a random collection of functional shapes. We gave the new design a clean, logic and aesthetic look with a robustness that suits a Swiss product.
The restyling of a product should never compromise its performance. We continuously assessed the lever of the redesigned pliers by running the necessary simulations, and adjusted its shape to maintain the original gripping strength.