Case Study: Back Box Saver 1 (BBS1)
Client: Rupert Robertson
“Back Box Saver 1” has patent pending in the UK.
BBS1 is intended to eliminate the need to replace electrical boxes which have become damaged due to the stripping of the metal fittings. It allows a standard switch or socket to fit into its electrical back box when the threads on the back box have become damaged, whilst providing the additional facility to raise or lower or tilt the faceplate, as required.
Developed out of necessity, “Back Box Saver 1” was thought up when Rupert was on his knees in a customer’s house, wondering how he was going to secure the socket when the screw just wasn’t able to be tightened.
Upon talking with colleagues and other people in the industry, it was noted that this was a widespread problem that domestic and electrician face regularly. If the back box is already installed, the time and cost of reinstatement and redecorating can be huge.
Together with Innovate, they started the design process by making sketches of the concept. The main challenge was to design a universal product that will fit most back boxes. When developing the overall concept, the design had to require no special tools, be safe and easy to use. Rupert and his partner went through a few prototypes which they hand-made themselves. Once they were happy that the product was sufficiently refined to do the job perfectly, they approached several U.K. manufacturers (small engineering firms) for quotes to make a trial batch of 1000 units.
When the product was developed and worked reliably , Innovate helped them to apply for a patent.
“Once you have IP protection for the idea, try it out with as many potential users as you can, in as many varied applications as you can. Review the feedback critically and see how you could possibly make the product better. Stop refining when you reach a point where you’re satisfied that the vast majority of users’ needs will be perfectly met.” advised Rupert.
“Back Box Saver 1” has successfully launched its website www.backboxsaver.com and has seen that the demand for the product is present. The company remains a small business based off of first hand sales. When asked about future plans for the product the innovator responded that a secondary use for the Box Saver has already been discovered and is in the development stages.
“Back Box Saver 1” plans on offering a range of installation accessories and electrical installers in the future.
“We found Innovate approachable, interested and extremely helpful when we approached them about the BBS1. The quality of materials they provided for us in the support of our patent application was superb, and we feel we have developed a long-term relationship with them. They have been an integral part of the project of getting the BBS1 to market.”
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