What is innovation? More than a product, it’s a process. Entrepreneur Margaret Heffernen hit the nail on the head when she stated,“For good ideas and true innovation, you need human interaction, conflict, argument, debate.”
Vaculine aspires to achieve a level of excellence in innovation through its product development process. The new CanSweep Sweep Inlet Valve, launched this past May, is a prime example of the company’s meticulous development process.
The concept of the next generation Sweep Inlet Valve gradually evolved through a series of rigorous tests, with engineers initially conducting cycle testing to 10,000 cycles to ensure that the mechanical components would not prematurely fail in the field. Once the finished product was created, Vaculine released the beta version of the CanSweep to product advisors from across North America. These product advisors- installers, dealers and experts in the field- tested the product in actual installations and provided feedback on product performance.
Vaculine collected feedback from these product advisors and incorporated many valuable suggestions into the second version. When this version of the CanSweep was released to product advisors, the feedback was unanimous- Vaculine had a winner on its hands. In taking the time to listen, to converse with people who knew the product prior to launch, Vaculine was able to produce a product that was attractive to both homeowners and installers, as well as dealers and distributors.
Kevin Meher, a Mechanical Engineering Technologist and one of the key designers of the CanSweep Sweep Inlet Valve, found true merit in the field tests. “The main value from the field testing was in the validation of our final design as we were able to see our product performing in real installations. The product testers were able to provide us with some very practical suggestions on how to improve the preliminary designs to make the product meet the installers and end users’ “wish list” of features for this type of product.”
Evan Strittmatter of Indiana Vac in Indiana, Pennsylvania, participated in the CanSweep product testing. “I think it’s fantastic that a company actually asks the people who are installing their products what they think of it and that they actually listened and improved the product instead of just saying ‘Oh we think they want this and we’re going to give them this,’ and it ends up being a product that nobody’s going to use or it’s going to make our lives harder. It’s fantastic that [Vaculine] did what they did and it’s going to make my life a whole lot easier,” said Strittmatter.
Launch events are currently underway across North America. Contact your supplier to find out about CanSweep purchase incentives and events near you.