‘Accubox’ invention set to provide silver lining for the construction sector
Robert McKeith, Founder of Streamline Tools in Tyne and Wear, has spent three years developing Accubox, an advanced alignment system for dry-liners, plasterers and electricians.
It is designed to eliminate measuring and reduces time spent when cutting out apertures in plasterboards to fit electrical back boxes, such as sockets and alarms. A British Standard finish is guaranteed every time and it also doubles as a cable protection system for all trades.
The product now holds a granted UK, European and US patent and the local entrepreneur and his associates have already lined up a number of electrical wholesalers and builders merchants as stockists.
It is estimated more than 30,000 units could be sold in the next twelve months, which would lead to the creation of 3 jobs and approximate sales of £150,000.
“Accubox has been specifically designed to save time, reduce waste and support sustainable construction,” explained Robert, who is in the process of commercialising a whole host of new inventions.
“It is a simple designed back plate that fits into electrical back boxes.
You then insert an appropriate piercing pin into the back plate; this allows the plasterboard to be pushed on to the pin, which then protrudes through to give the perfect location of the electrical sockets.”
He went on to add: “We then supply a matching template which is slid over the exposed pin…simply draw around it and you’ve got the exact positioning to cut around.
“It sounds simple, but the best things normally are. We’ve trialed this with a number of construction workers and the end result is that ‘Accubox’ is up to 40% quicker than the conventional method.
“Furthermore, we have even designed a single and double pocket template to suit all requirements.”
Streamline Tools has worked with the Manufacturing Advisory Service from the early stages of development to seek advice on material selection.
MAS then supplied part funding for the tooling that ensured the firm could manufacture a completed Accubox, which is guiding its evolution into a mass volume product.
The team has also received support to identify routes to market and in securing a forward order book.
Rob continued: “MAS has been invaluable source of experience and knowledge and this has played an important part in getting us to market in the timescale we wanted.
“We always knew we had a great product, but it’s not always that simple. You can’t underestimate the importance of having external experts validating what you are doing and introducing like-minded partners who can speed it along.”
Lead Manufacturing Advisor Cameron Ross has been involved from the outset: “It’s fantastic to see how far Streamline Tools have come from a very good idea to a product that will be stocked all over the UK.
“Importantly, we’ve been able to find manufacturing partners in the North East so Accubox will remain a truly local product that has the potential to be a global success story.”
“This project demonstrates the benefits of working with MAS to get the appropriate third party advice and critical questioning form manufacturing experts”