PE reports on the leading lights from Super Rod’s ‘Hall of Fame’ inventor’s event.
Ironically, it was a certain Thomas Edison who first uttered the words: “Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration”, and he should certainly know.
The prolific American inventor, who held over 1,000 patents to his name, is obviously best known for inventing the electric light bulb – a development from which ‘the light bulb moment’ clearly originates – but he clearly understood that even the very best idea can struggle to see the light of day without the drive and investment it takes to bring a new solution to market.
We’re sure that locked inside the heads of many trade professionals are ideas and concepts that could literally be ‘game-changers’, and it’s sad to think that so many of these are likely to remain a pipe-dream.
In the electrical industry, however, that dream has far more potential to become a reality thanks to the help of suppliers/manufacturers like Super Rod, whose commitment to listening to and realising the ideas of those that matter most – the end user professionals – is helping to create a whole new generation of inventors.
As someone who has an invention or two to his own name, as well as striving to give back to an industry that has provided him with gainful employment, Super Rod’s MD, Malcolm Duncan (and the team around him), has made it somewhat of a personal mission to promote and encourage ideas from those working at the coal-face of the industry. In turn, this has resulted in the introduction of some truly excellent problem-solving devices into the Super Rod range in recent years.
To help showcase the latest generation of inventions in the Super Rod range, the company recently organised a ‘Hall of Fame’ event, where members of the press – including this humble publication – plus special guests (including Rich Heppell from Art of Smart and Alfie Johnson of Diode Electrical) were given unique access to four fantastic ideas and the brains behind them.
What we found on the day was a group of bright, engaging and hard-working individuals who had each come up with a terrific idea, born out of their day-to-day working experiences, that can now be found in the toolboxes of many of their electrical industry colleagues.
GOT A BRIGHT IDEA?
If you’ve got an idea or invention that you’d like to share with Super Rod, you can email the company at: firstname.lastname@example.org
CABLE TONGUE & CABLE TONGUE PRO
Invented by Tom Shelbourne, Director/Owner of West Country Tech – a CCTV, Wi-Fi and networking installation company – Cable Tongue is a flat and flexible tool designed for pulling cables through partition walls, above ceilings and below floors. Tom’s idea arrived after spending time working in Australia and witnessing electricians ‘stealing’ tongue and groove flooring plastic to pull cables.
“Some people will complain they they do not have the time. Work between 7pm and midnight and 4am until 7am. If you’re passionate about it, you will work all hours outside of your working day.”
Conceived by Kyle Gamble, an electrical contracting company Director, the Duoxim Arbor is a former PE ‘Top Product’ award winner. The tool allows you to quickly and easily make any hole bigger without causing any damage to surrounding surfaces, an idea that came to Kyle after spending time on a job at a very expensive property in London’s ‘Billionaire’s Row’. Faced with the replacement of a whole house full of downlights and a client revealing that £40,000 had been spent on redecorating recently (so damage to the ceiling and decor was out of the question), Kyle set about designing and making a tool that would allow electricians to do the job.
“No matter how simple your idea may be, still look to develop it. The simplest ideas are often the best ideas.”
Designed by award-winning New Zealand tech company The Cable Ferret, Ferret WiFi is a multipurpose wireless inspection and cable pulling tool which has taken New Zealand, Australia, the USA, and now the UK, by storm. The product uses the latest electronics technology to stream high resolution video to a smart device in real time, making it the ideal tool for fast and accurate close up visual inspections and troubleshooting in places which are too confined or hard to reach. The camera has six adjustable bright white LEDs on the front to provide crisp, clear 720p images, even in complete darkness. The Ferret WiFi is used in connection with a free and intuitive Android or iOS app, which allows installers to save their videos and photos directly onto their smart device. This feature helps identify issues and also provides proof of a problem or repair to customers, which is ideal when quoting or invoicing for jobs.
The Ferret WiFi is suitable for a wide range of applications including locating, reaching, inspecting, retrieving and reporting work for all kinds of trades. It is a winner of a 2019 Professional Electrician ‘Top Product’ award
The brainchild of Patrick Lenaghan, an electrical contracting business owner, QuikReel is designed to get cable off the reel quickly, smoothly and safely without the use of bars, racks or stands. After becoming fed up with the pain and frustration of trying to get cable off a reel without setting up any complicated dispensing system, Patrick decided that the answer could lie in the form of something small, sturdy, lightweight and self-contained, which could be used instantly as soon as it was taken out of the van. While rewiring an old farmhouse he accidentally discovered an old enameled dish and, after seeing the way it spun on its own axis, the seed was sown for the design of the QuikReel.
“If you experience pain and frustration with the way you do things, there’s a good chance thousands of other people like you are having the same problem, so ask yourself “is there a better way to do this”? Then start thinking! Keep that question at the front of your mind every day.”