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Humber and Crystal Fountains redesign Spyra fountain system
July 26, 2016
Crystal Fountains Inc. wants to make a splash with its latest decorative water system and has turned to Humber for ideas. An international leader in decorative fountains with water systems all over the world, Crystal Fountains has offices in Toronto, the Middle East and in Europe.
“Humber offers us access to talented students as well as access to subject matter expertise through the knowledge of the faculty,” said George Ayer, Crystal Fountains’ Chief Innovation Officer. Both Humber and Crystal Fountains have benefitted from a long relationship that’s culminated in several successful applied research projects that have advanced the company’s product designs while helping launch students’ careers.
For this project, Crystal Fountains needed help with redesigning its Spyra system. One of their signature products, this system makes water dance. Water spirals and swivels from every possible angle. Each jet can be sequenced to pulse to music and lights for an even more dramatic effect. To make this system even better, Crystal Fountains wanted a new design for a nozzle that has more capabilities than previous models and can compete with the best fountains in the world. In addition to the new nozzle, the entire fountain system needed a shift in how it was powered – moving from a pneumatic system (powered by compressed air) to an electro-mechanical system that is more cost effective and reliable.
Cue Humber instructors Sherif Hanna and Hassan Hassan and mechanical engineering students, Eric Andrews, Michael Domenichiello, Arham Khan, and Jacob Pranger, who worked with Crystal Fountains and successfully switched the power source, while creating a new nozzle that is lighter, more powerful, and more durable. “The students used electromagnetic components and couplings as well as electrical motors to power the nozzle instead of the pneumatic system,” said Hanna. “The nozzle was also redesigned to provide a broader spectrum of tilting and rotation.”
“This gives enhanced control over the motion of the water,” noted Ayer.
With this upgraded nozzle and a new power model, Hanna and his students put the final touches on a functional prototype that was completed in May 2016.
“Crystal Fountains has great talent, but for proof of concept and prototyping, Humber has the facilities and the resources to offer excellent quality and help move a company forward,” explained Sherif. “And Crystal Fountains recognizes this.” Meanwhile, the students have also boosted their employability. “The students got exposure to real industrial problems and challenges and were able to solve problems over the course of the project,” said Hanna. “This exposure greatly enhanced their design skills. Their experience with project management also taught them to balance design specifications while meeting budgets, client schedules, and stakeholder demands,” he added.
Though the students are young and relatively inexperienced, Crystal Fountains loves their creativity. “The benefit of having students involved is that we get some of our stale ideas off the table and get some fresh new ideas, because students come at it from an angle that you don’t anticipate,” said George. “They’re bright, engaged, and hardworking young people with great faculty support.”
What’s the advantage for Humber? Such projects further industrial relations, and that translates into staying in touch with new technologies, updating academic curriculum to reflect advances in industry, and enhancing Humber’s reputation as a reliable project partner.
“I’ve really enjoyed working with Humber,” said George. “Thus far all of our projects have been successful and that is really a testimony to the strength of the kids and the support that Humber offers them.”