Heat Prep

...

World’s first handheld cable heating tool lands exclusive licensing deal.

The Challenge

Build a low-cost handheld cable heating device that eliminates poor cable connections saving 1000x rework costs for Cable Co’s.

The Solution

A weather resistant, simple to use, compact tool that heats up in 15 seconds ensuring proper connections every time.


 
Video: Heat Prep production prototype field testing.

01.

Tough Design Decisions

Early identification of trade-offs between battery size, heating time, and cost.

02.

Material Selection

Careful choice of conductive materials that insulate hand and heat cable.

03.

Marketplace Analysis

Help identify optimal cost targets, market size, and licensing opportunities.

04.

Extreme Conditions.

Design device for extreme environments ranging from -30°C to +30°C

Concept design prototype

A

Design

Heat Prep walked in the door with an idea and proof-of-function prototype for a handheld cable heating tool. They were looking for help with volume manufacturing and taking product to market.

After establishing design requirements, several trade-off decisions were identified including battery, device size, cost, and heating time. The output was several manufacturable design concepts that would meet price targets, device features, and regulatory requirements.

"Identify design trade-off decisions early on."
exploded view

Bench model build of electronics for testing design concepts

"Mechanical and software engineering teams working together."
B.

Engineering

After selecting a design concept, the engineering and software teams were faced with more tough challenges including heat transfer, environmental stress, and accommodation of a variety of cable diameters.

The solution was to carefully select materials whose properties would allow for both heat conduction to the cable and heat insulation to protect hands. The device was then fully modeled in 3D CAD and ready for pre-production prototype testing.

Pre-production prototype parts for user testing trials

C

Testing

Upon finalization of detailed engineering, several proof-of-concept prototypes were produced and put into the field and laboratory for testing. These included devices with a variety of sleeve materials to gather user feedback on feel and function. The testing revealed several issues with storage of device in existing pouches and cold weather function.

The end was result was to choose a soft-durometer silicon sleeve that had a soft touch in all environmental conditions.

"Functional prototype for in field technician testing."

Final product

"Finding the right production partners and process."
D

Manufacturing

Choosing the right manufacturing process and supply partners is critical to for smooth volume production.

Design 1st worked with Heat Prep, and their exclusive distributor Cable Prep to source high-quality partners and integrate the product into a custom global supply chain. The result was a high-quality first volume production run with a <1% defect rate, well above industry standards.

“Design 1st's ability to identify and eliminate design risk and deliver an amazing user experience is now paying dividends as the sales grow.  They helped us realize our vision, and provided a quality manufacturing solution, allowing us to concentrate on marketing and sales.  We will work with them again!”
- Josh Guimond, Founder - ‎Heat Prep, LLC

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