The Inspiration for Nipiy
As the owner of a welding company, I often travel for work in the oil & gas, construction & energy sector. I was repeatedly frustrated about not being able to wash my hands after refueling my welding truck at gas stations - especially outside of normal business hours or while traveling in rural and remote communities.
In 2018, I saw the opportunity to develop a new hand portable, self-contained & solar-powered wash station, so I began sketching designs then built a prototype in my garage. I tested my prototype at job sites & received rave reviews from crews thrilled to have access to a solar-powered, stand-alone hand wash station! A construction safety officer at a mining company requested that I develop a model with a shower, first aid kit and eyewash station – so I invented a new industrial / construction safety station.
The Impact of COVID
Most of us could never have predicted that by the end of 2019, the relentless spread of COVID-19 would shine a terrifying, international spotlight on the need for hand washing & sanitation stations. As the world struggled to stop the spread of the global pandemic, hand washing for personal hygiene & convenience suddenly became a mandatory protocol & critical safety practice in all workplaces, public spaces & homes.
As COVID concerns amplified the need for children’s hand washing at schools & daycares, I invented a shorter dual-sink unit. When a colleague & my boys suggested that we paint the children’s model in bright orange & add the #EveryChildMatters motto, I whole-heartedly agreed. This is an obvious way that the companies that purchase, rent or sponsor our orange children's units can help to raise awareness about past injustices & the on-going impacts of Residential schools while helping to to keep youngsters & future generations safer & healthier. We make a donation from each sale of our children’s models to the Indian Residential School Survivors Society.
Our Commitment to Environmental Sustainability
My initial motivation for inventing these machines was convenience & personal hygiene - I wanted easier access to fresh water for hand washing in places where electricity or outside water sources may not be easily available. Festival & event organizers often place our stations outside porta-potties & near food stands to support good hygiene & improve customers' experiences, yet our sustainability focused clients appreciate our use of solar power & biodegradable soaps to reduce the environmental impact of their public & private events.
Our solar-powered, stand-alone stations do not require electricity or plumbing connections.
We reduce the use of plastics with large freshwater tanks.
Tanks can be easily refilled or connected to a permanent water source.
We provide biodegradable, non-toxic soap & can extend our company discount to clients for refills.
Our unique wastewater recapture tank is easily emptied or drained.
Our Commitment to Innovation
Through contacts I made at the fall 2021 Shell Liveware Canada competition, I connected with the Grande Prairie Regional Innovation Network team (GPRIN). They graciously funded a two-phase design re-engineering at Red Deer Polytechnic’s Centre for Innovation in Manufacturing - Technology Access Centre (CIM-TAC). We re-engineered our design to produce 10 lighter weight aluminum frames with a flat, solar panel top, built-in LED lighting & larger tanks.
Our new standard aluminum model - lighter yet durable!
This lightweight innovation is especially important for projects in rural/emote communities & places where permanent plumbing or power sources are limited or not available – such as forest firefighter camps, disaster response sites, temporary camps & evacuation centres. Our innovative new design provids:
Increased access to stand-alone, solar-powered fresh water washing stations.
The largest fresh water tank on the market (37 US gallons/ 140 litres).
Use of biodegradable, non-toxic soaps to reduce the environmental impact.
A fully-automated, touchless system that requires little or no maintenance by owners or renters.
Choices between our original model, our new sturdy yet lightweight aluminum frame version & an injection-moulded version. All are easily moved by dolly & can have optional 3" industrial wheels installed to facilitate moving to higher traffic areas or as work crews advance on job sites.
Our Industrial / Construction Safety Model - Every Health & Safety Officer's Dream!
Our industrial / construction safety & sanitation station model, equipped with a first aid kit, fire extinguisher, eye wash station and shower. When this unit was used at a remote construction site last summer, the pipe fitter crew commented that they LOVED the benefits and features such as:
Access to a quick shower to cool off & fresh water for washing hands in a remote location.
Fully-enclosed wastewater recapture tanks that reduce the risk of slipping and are easy to drain.
Workers said that our machines helped to keep morale up & improved their mental health on site, especially during a particularly hot, dry week.
Nipiy earned a utility patent in Canada and the US that enables us to continually modify our products as demand for new features, sizes or requirements arise. Email us to explore new innovations!