After seeing the concept, the customer could see their goal was achievable and commissioned us to refine the design
The finished product delivered a 38% cost saving over the existing design.
What has been your greatest innovation?
This has been an ‘Underground Storage Tank Protector’, which is a fitting used to form fibreglass cells around underground storage tanks like foul water tanks and fuel storage at petrol stations. The low-cost protectors replace a plastic and foam mould. The fitting attaches to the tank at regular intervals along its length creating hollow ribs and is then coated with fibreglass. The ribs are filled with antifreeze and capped off creating a banding of insulation, which, once buried, prevents the contents freezing in cold temperatures.”
What was the inspiration behind the innovation?
The brief was to create a structure similar in design to a chocolate bar. I realised that if I turned a standard 0422 tray upside down and sloped the sides, I could create the shape needed. I then joined a number of them together with a crease to create the protectors. After seeing the concept, the customer could see their goal was achievable and commissioned us to refine the design. The key to the success of the fitting was the way it folded and working with the customer to find the optimum way of erecting the shape.
What happened next?
Final samples were approved by the customer, delivering a 38% cost saving over the existing design. The rest is history; later that year it scooped a win in Smurfit Kappa’s UK Innovation Awards which led to being entered in the European Innovation Awards. Here, among designers from across Europe, it won gold, making it one project that I’m unlikely to forget.