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Manufacturer set to become top dog with new invention
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Manufacturer set to become top dog with new invention

Manufacturer set to become top dog with new invention

Glossop-based manufacturer Magloc has already taken Crufts by storm with a new patent protected magnetic dog lead and collar connector that was designed, tooled and produced in the North West with support from the Manufacturers Advisory Service (MAS).
Manufacturer set to become top dog with new invention

The simple but revolutionary new design uses magnets in both the lead and the collar to make the lead ‘hunt’ the collar, thus enabling the units to connect with the use of only one hand.  Pet accessory retailers, garden centres and events, including Crufts and the Chelsea Flower Show, are now lining up to stock MD Tony Garlick’s unique product when it comes to market this summer.

The company is also talking to retailers about alternative applications in areas such as marine safety, automotive, DIY and even gardening as a simple quick connection for hanging baskets. Magloc has also received the backing of several major UK disability charities as a result of the benefits provided by this unique connector.

The idea came to MD Tony Garlick when he was out walking his two dogs. “I was trying to get them back onto their leads quickly, against their will as usual, and had managed to drop the leads and lose the dogs a number of times before I was successful. It really made me think about how what should be a fairly simple task is made a lot more complicated than it needs to be and it struck me that by magnetising the lead and collar there would no longer be any need to seek out the right place to connect the lead.”

To connect a standard lead requires the use of two hands – one to hold and open the clip and the other to locate and hold the “D” ring of the collar. This is the major area of improvement that has now been transformed into a single-handed operation for connection and release. Designing the product, Tony developed a simple prototype, developed and tested the magnetised connectors to ensure they were robust enough to hold a lead in place but also easy enough to disconnect with one movement. He approached MAS for funding to design and develop the tools needed to create a small production run.

Since the grant was awarded and production began, the Magloc has been showcased at Crufts where it generated considerable interest amongst dog and horse owners, multi dog owners and disabled dog owners.  To meet the demand from a growing number of online customers, large pet supplies retailers, garden and DIY retailers, Tony is now equipped with the tools and facilities to rapidly increase the current small production volumes to the huge volumes that are anticipated.

The company is already receiving some remarkable customer feedback, such as a letter they received from Caroline, who bought the product at Crufts. Caroline is in a wheelchair and had not been able to connect her dog lead for years, but now is able to with ease, which has made a huge difference to her levels of independence.

Nick Brandwood, MAS NW Advisor, said:  “This is just the type of exciting and innovative manufacturing company that MAS is privileged to work with.  I foresee a long standing relationship with Tony and his team and, having supported Magloc in funding the tooling, the next stage is to support them in developing the sales and e-commerce strategy and optimising work cell layout to maximise production volume and process repeatability to cope with the demand.”

Tony concluded: “From day one, MAS have been very supportive and have worked with us to deliver the exact support we needed. It is fantastic to see this very simple idea, which sprang from wanting to solve a very real problem, come to life and delight so many people when they hear about it.  As a small company it has been invaluable to have that extra assistance when thinking about producing on a mass level and finding alternative uses for the Magloc, which are now very much on the horizon.”

Magloc dog collars and leads will soon be available to buy from major pet retail outlets at around £9.99 RRP.

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