No announcement yet.

Inventor's Trust for Hamilton

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Inventor's Trust for Hamilton

    Several years ago four of us from Hamilton attended one evening meeting at the Auckland Inventor's Trust. This not-for-profit organisation was founded to help inventors bring their ideas through to the manufacturing stage, and also to foster more awareness of the importance of such development work.

    Here is the address of their website:

    We found the meeting very useful, with a wide range of small scale inventors through to larger organisations (who had spent up to a million dollars on development), discussing their projects with the group of like-minded people, all under confidential disclosure.

    There were about 70-80 people there that night, and the link for us was that one of their number had won an award at Fieldays the year before, with a very worthy invention, now called the Terrasaw.

    The early model Terrasaw was started up in front of the Fieldays judges in 2000 and promptly carved a wide slot in the dirt, ready for alkathene or cabling. There was no doubt from any of the people there, that we were witnessing an amazing new product that would do well. Representatives from every chainsaw manufacturer on the site came over, and talked earnestly with the owner.

    We came away from that meeting with the idea of setting up a similar trust in Hamilton, perhaps called the Waikato Developer's Trust, but nothing has been done about it since. There are many good designers in Hamilton, plenty of manufacturing knowledge, the tools to do this work are now far more affordable and available, and I know there are lots of ideas out there that could be in manufacture and earning foreign exchange (or helping our own businesses thrive through better productivity).

    If any others are interested in this idea too, just post on this forum.
    Graham Lynch

  • #2
    A related idea is the much larger KiwiNet announced this week: this has connections to WaikatoLink at Innovation Park.
    Graham Lynch


    • #3
      I just saw this article on the Auckland Inventor's Trust website. Brilliant!


      Value Engineering

      This one is well worth the time to read it....... It made my day, I hope it makes yours too! You don't have to be an engineer to appreciate this story.

      A toothpaste factory had a problem. They sometimes shipped empty boxes without the tube inside. This challenged their perceived quality with the buyers and distributors. Understanding how important the relationship with them was, the CEO of the company assembled his top people. They decided to hire an external engineering company to solve their empty boxes problem. The project followed the usual process: budget and project sponsor allocated, RFP, and third-parties selected. Six months (and $8 million) later they had a fantastic solution - on time, on budget, and high quality. Everyone in the project was pleased.

      They solved the problem by using a high-tech precision scale that would sound a bell and flash lights whenever a toothpaste box weighed less than it should. The line would stop, someone would walk over, remove the defective box, and then press another button to re-start the line. As a result of the new package monitoring process, no empty boxes were being shipped out of the factory.

      With no more customer complaints, the CEO felt the $8 million was well spent. He then reviewed the line statistics report and discovered the number of empty boxes picked up by the scale in the first week was consistent with projections, however, the next three weeks were zero! The estimated rate should have been at least a dozen boxes a day. He had the engineers check the equipment, they verified the report as accurate.

      Puzzled, the CEO traveled down to the factory, viewed the part of the line where the precision scale was installed, and observed just ahead of the new $8 million dollar solution sat a $20 desk fan blowing the empty boxes off the belt and into a bin. He asked the line supervisor what that was about.

      "Oh, that," the supervisor replied, "Bert, the kid from maintenance, put it there because he was tired of walking over every time the bell rang."

      Graham Lynch