Secrets Behind the Development
This story shows how the Ion House (Discontinued) was developed. You can replace "Ion House" with "Medical Ion".
The Ion House has the same negative ion generation method as the Medical Ion Mini.
It began with a phone call.
Mr. S of Company D called me in the spring of 2000. We had been working together on technical issues.
S: "We are planning to develop a negative ion generator."
I had received similar phone calls from several companies as negative ion products just started to get popular.
I thought it was one of them and I just asked him to show me once the generator got ready.
He called me again sometime in 2001.
S: "A prototype is ready. Would you like to have a look?"
Honestly, I was sorry for him but I had completely forgot the project.
He had been working hard to design a negative ion generator since he called me in 2000.
I cannot perform zero adjustment?!
I started to measure negative ions as I received the prototype. However, I could not perform zero adjustment.
I failed again and again. I wondered by myself.
"The ion counter has got broken??
No, It cannot be. It was working a few days ago." You cannot measure negative ions if you do not complete zero adjustment.
I tried again and again while walking around in the room. I finally made it! I wondered by myself again.
"Why did I fail many times?"
I found that it had been caused by the Ion House!
I had performed zero adjustment just behind the negative ion generator or at a certain distance away where negative ions did not reach.
However, I had to do the adjustment at a further distance away
because negative ions were detected at a certain distance away from the Ion House.
This is why I failed many times.
I was impressed with the performance and I got interested in this high performance negative ion generator.
Many difficulties to overcome
He overcame many difficulties during the development phase.
According to him, it was very hard to "electronically" connect ionizing needles due to the hardness.
The needle is made of 99.999% purified tungsten and it contributes to the performance of the Ion House. His efforts have paid off!
He meticulously designed and redesigned the ion blow off point.
The material/shape of this part can affect the negative ion generation performance.
He searched for a power supply unit which could continue to supply stable power under temperature/humidity fluctuations.
I did not understand why a power supply unit was such an important factor,
so I actually tested some generators supplied by other companies and found that
the ion count can dramatically drop as temperature drops down to e.g. 0C.
I had a lot of info on other negative ion generators but I did not know temperature could affect the performance.
As far as I knew, Mr. S was the 1st engineer who understood the importance of a stable power supply unit for an ion generator.
He applied for an international patent.
It was also strenuous work and it cost a huge amount of money including translation work from Japanese into English.
Evaluation of the prototype
It was strenuous work to find measurement points as negative ions were dispersed to a large area.
I was impressed as he actually tested the generator in a snow mountain to see how it would work under low temperature.
I believe he also had evaluated the generator in a thermostatic chamber.
He often came to our office. He caught the 1st bullet train in Osaka and arrived here at 9AM.
He was in charge of the most important parts of the development.
He actually acted
I was confident that I had extensive knowledge because I read many books relating to negative ions.
He raised a question from an actual phenomenon during the development of the Ion House.
I learnt a lot from him. e.g. Temperature can affect the performance.
I had not heard that a power supply unit could fail to supply stable power under temperature fluctuations.
I think some of well-selling negative ion generators supplied by other companies did not work in cold districts.
No one had pointed out that negative ions are well absorbed by the floor/wall. If you install a negative ion generator close to
the floor/wall and measure the negative ion count, you will find it.
I cannot tell you the details but he logically explained to me why the Ion House generates far more negative ions than
competing products. He got 2-3 units each of several competing products for R/D purposes.
He memorized most of internal circuits, negative ion generation methods, individual parts and so on.
I think very few engineers do so. I was always impressed with his attitude towards the development of the Ion House.
I hope he will read this page and recall those days.
18 Nov 2006
Back to the Medical Ion Mini
Universal Plan Co., Ltd.
Marketing Manager: Masaharu Nemoto