World’s first handheld cable heating tool lands exclusive licensing deal.
Build a low-cost handheld cable heating device that eliminates poor cable connections saving 1000x rework costs for Cable Co’s.
A weather resistant, simple to use, compact tool that heats up in 15 seconds ensuring proper connections every time.
Tough Design Decisions
Early identification of trade-offs between battery size, heating time, and cost.
Careful choice of conductive materials that insulate hand and heat cable.
Help identify optimal cost targets, market size, and licensing opportunities.
Design device for extreme environments ranging from -30°C to +30°C
Concept design prototype
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.
Bench model build of electronics for testing design concepts
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
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.
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.