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PadProp – An Innovation
Aaron recognised that the main problem with using portable tablet devices (such as iPads), was that if the user was sitting down it was difficult to safely hold the tablet whilst touching the screen. Leaning an expensive tablet device upon the users legs, or against furniture, was often un-safe and risky, as the tablet would be prone to slipping onto the floor and breaking.
Therefore, the concept of the Padprop was born. Aaron started off by taking a flat foam kneeling pad, often used by gardeners, and cut it using a sharp knife into a shape which fitted around both sides of the tablet, with a wider section at the rear.
After several attempts Aaron soon identified the best profile, and realising this was a true solution to the problem, he set about searching for a manufacturer. He soon identified Technical Foam Services Ltd, a UK foam manufacturer and foam convertor and as having the necessary expertise to complete the entire project. With a vast range of foam based materials in stock, and their own engineering and tooling workshop, they were quickly able to recommend the most suitable grade of high density foam required to make the Padprop. From the outset of the project, Aaron had a retail price in mind, and all of our development work focused on ensuring we stayed within the budgeted cost per unit. The entire development process took just under three months, by which point full-scale prototypes were available for market evaluation. During this time, with our knowledge of the retail industry we were able to design appropriate shelf-ready packing, including bags, artwork, bar-coding and shipping cartons.
Padprop was launched at the Gadget Show Exhibition, NEC, Birmingham, in Spring 2012. With a retail price of £14.99, Padprop quickly became a ‘Must Have’ product for many iPad owners. Fantastic reviews by MacWorld, Essential Mac and Expert iPad reinforced Aaron’s belief that Padprop was a fantastic product. Since then it has been stocked by major retailers, such as Marks & Spencer.
Aaron said – ‘Working with Technical Foam Services met all my expectations. When I first approached them with my design, they quickly understood exactly what I was looking for, and invested a considerable amount of their time and energy into my project. They clearly have a really good knowledge of the global foam industry, and were prepared to listen to my hopes and correlate these with what was actually achievable, both in terms of quality and within budget. I certainly recommend them for product development within the foam industry’.
Padprop is an excellent example of how Technical Foam Services can help develop, manufacture and market, high quality foam based products. Using polyurethane and polyethylene foams, the experience and knowledge we have gained since our formation in 1989, helps us be true leaders in the European foam industry. We have many different conversion processes at our disposal, which gives us the capability to manufacture a vast range of Polyurethane, Polyethylene, and Rubber based components.