Cot design provides clearer visual access for children


The rounded ‘soft’ plastic parts in assorted colours bring a childrens hospital ward to life. The Tritan™ Copolyester from Eastman was selected as the material of choice for the clear cot side panels, because it has the excellent glass-like clarity

THE day that Jed Aylmer saw children at the Rahima Moosa Mother and Child Hospital standing in steel cots that looked more like cages than comforting and comfortable places of recovery, he realised that the steel cots were inadequate.  The challenge of redefining the cot, and introducing new and intelligent features that would benefit the children and the health practitioners, spurred him on to creating the Symba Paediatric Hospital Bed.

Jed is the MD of Praestet, a company that designs, assembles and distributes medical products, and he wanted to inject innovation into a product that is used every day by medical professionals, children and parents, but he also wanted to improve the space within which the primary user – the child – recovers.  He wanted to make the cot look cheerful and provide children with clearer visual access to the world outside their space of recovery from where parents and medical practitioners interact with them, however, he also needed to address the needs of medical professionals such as patient safety, functionality, hygiene, accessibility and mobility, which is something standard that is required in such medical equipment.

The rounded ‘soft’ plastic parts in assorted colours would bring the hospital ward to life, however, Jed also needed to find the right raw materials in terms of processability and performance.  It was at this point that Jed approached Plastichem (Pty) Ltd, a Brenntag Group Company for advice. 

Tritan™ Copolyester from Eastman was selected as the material of choice for the clear cot side panels, because it has the excellent glass-like clarity that Jed was looking for in the panels whilst being scratch and stain resistant, and yet it met all the other important requirements as well.  The grade that was selected may be used in repeated use food contact articles under US FDA regulations, is certified to NSF/ANSI Standard 51 for Food Equipment Materials and is also certified to NSF/ANSI Standard 61 - Drinking Water System Components-Health Effects.  It also has excellent hydrolytic stability, good chemical resistance, good heat resistance and an outstanding impact resistance.

The other consideration was that the panels were comparatively long and narrow by design, so it was necessary to consider ease of processing.  Tritan™ Copolyester from Eastman had just the right high flow grade for the application that combined ease of processing with quick cycle and fast drying times. 

Praestet Healthcare Design opted to have a Krugersdorp-based provider of turnkey solutions manufacture his moulds and injection mould the panels.  Wilvic, owned by the wife and husband team of Wilma and Bogdan Bogdanovic, and managed by Stephan Jansen van Vuuren, provide their clients with a state of the art turnkey operation that begins when their designs and prototypes are born and comes to fruition at the time their product is shipped to its final destination.  Wilvic discovered that the Tritan™ Copolyester was gentle on their machinery and it was easy to process.  Plastichem (Pty) Ltd was on hand to offer them technical support.

Today parents can rest assured that their children are receiving a new level of innovative care when tucked into a Symba bed, and this is not only thanks to Jed Aylmer’s innovative thinking, drive and passion, and to all the men and women who invested their time and energy into the project, but also to the advanced raw materials in the product, like Eastman Tritan™ copolyester.

  • Plastichem represents Eastman in South Africa