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UK company has invented a novel alternative to castors and wheels for moving furniture and heavy products is seeking manufacturing agreements and also license agreements.

Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Reference Number: BOUK20211001001
Publication Date: 4 November 2021

Summary

A UK company has invented a patented device to assist with the movement of heavy objects.  Versions of the device are individually designed for use with specific products using the core technology, for example washing machines, office equipment/furniture, microwaves, filing cabinet, large-scale medical equipment. The company seeks to access international markets via manufacturing partners in the furniture and white goods sectors through global licensing/manufacturing agreements

Description

This UK SME founded in 2015 has invented a patented device to assist with the movement of heavy objects. The directors of the company having worked in the retail furniture industry sought to address problems they observed and saw a gap in the market. They looked to designing a solution to enable people of all abilities to move difficult objects.

The invention is a miniature, spring loaded ball transfer unit with click action. The design of the device allows for bespoke adaptation for a specific product, e.g., washing machines, office equipment/furniture, microwaves, filing cabinet, large-scale medical equipment, this adaptation take into consideration the weight distribution of the object, size, and shape.

It is an unobtrusive unit with the following features:
• Once attached on each corner of the object, is is a simple push down movement on the object, to activate the rollerball mechanism allowing the product to be moved.
• Once the object is in position, push down on the object again to activate the pivot mechanism.
• The pivot mechanism replaces the rollerball with a more stable platform, making the product more secure on the surface.

The company's market research has identified two potential markets; the first addresses manual handling which according to data reference there are an estimated 0.5 million workers in the commercial sector who suffer musculoskeletal injuries from manual handling in the workplace, this has an estimated annual costs of £1billion to UK businesses.

The second addresses assistive living and providing a device that will help the 14.9 million people in the UK who are aged 60 and above. The proportion of the global population who are above 65 is currently 8%. This company's innovation has the potential both to save money by being retrofitted to existing furniture/ white goods, but also has the potential to improve quality of life for individuals living in their own home.

The UK Patent was granted in 2016 and Europe/USA pending.

The UK company wish to access international markets and seeks collaboration with global manufacturing partners via licensing/manufacturing agreements. The ideal partner will be a manufacturer of small components or be a furniture / white good manufacturer. In which partners will contribute manufacturing know how and market knowledge
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Advantages and Innovations

The inventions offers consumers and manufacturers  a new, robust feature to replace the standard pulleys, trolleys and/or castors.

• Potential to be made from recyclable materials

• Safer than current products due to its ease of use and improved stability when compared to castors enabling secure movement of heavy items.

• The consumer market versions can be simply retrofitted to existing items or can be factory fitted to new goods

IPR status

Patents granted

Stage Of Development

Available for demonstration

Stage Of Development Comment

There are prototype devices available for demonstration purposes (3D printed and CNC machined).

Requested partner

The company wish to access the white goods and furniture markets. 

partners are sought in both the following sectors;

• Component manufacturer: Provide the opportunity to licence the product, which leaves adaptability for the manufacturer to use this device for retrospective fitting to any application.
• Manufacturers of furniture and consumer white goods: there is an opportunity to licence this technology enabling the licensee to incorporate the design of new products

The company is seeking partners in international territories and seeks global manufacturing partners via licensing/manufacturing agreements

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