In recent posts on the forum, the subject of load shedding has naturally raised its head a few time.
I, and others, have also commented in a few posts about the effect on appliances after loadshedding.
The cold hard facts are that our power problems are here to stay, and we need to learn to live with it, and take care of our own.
My major concern is not about keeping the lights on - that's the easy bit. It's about what happens to my expensive household appliances when the power comes back on.
Personally, I have had 2 PCs destroyed in as many years, and don't want to start thinking about what my home entertainment system has been subject to.
So I have created the MainsDelay unit.
Our web site is at www.mainsdelay.co.za and this will give you a pretty good idea of how it works and what it does.
So now the prototype is done and tested ( and connected to the PC that I am typing this on ), it is time to start looking for investors to back this.
We need funding. Without funds, the best idea in the world will fail.
We need to get an electrical compliance testing certificate for the design, start production of PCBs and assembly, packaging, marketing and distribution.
If you have any interest, or contacts in the field of startup funding, I would appreciate hearing from you.
Below is a more detailed text on the concept.
Life after LoadShedding - for appliances, PCs and entertainment systems, this can be very short - until now.
A simple device extends life expectancy, and every household, office and factory can use one.
I have designed and manufactured a prototype device to examine, inspect, and delay the mains power downline when the municipal mains is restored.
This extends the life expectancy of the appliances.
The unit can be easily programmed by the user ( buttons on unit - no PC required ) to only switch on when the mains voltage is within certain limits, and also set a time delay before power is restored ( eg. 10 minutes ).
An added feature will also be of interest to businesses. The unit can be set to automatically NOT turn the mains back on to the appliance.
For example, the factory has load shedding. The worker walks away from the soldering iron, grinder, drill, etc and goes home. After loadshedding, the soldering iron is on - all night - a serious hazard. With this unit, the mains to the workbench is kept off until a button is pressed on the unit the next morning.
Market - I consider every household, office and factory a potential market for this device.
Competition - there is no other comparable device available on the market that I am aware of.
Progress - the prototype is done. PC board, Mains Control, Software for the microprocessor. In fact, it is currently installed on my PC right now, just quietly waiting to protect my system after the next inevitable load shedding.
The Future - This is where I need the funding. The ideal startup funding required is around R 1,000,000. With this funding, we can proceed with compliance testing, production, packaging and marketing. I am fully confidant that this is a great product, but in order to be a success and make a profit, it needs exposure. Lack of exposure has been the downfall of many great ideas and products, and we are fully aware of the importance of marketing - but it is expensive to get a new name out there.
In order to proceed into production, I need to get this unit tested any approved by the authorities. There are organisations that specialise in this ( like SABS ), but they do charge considerable fees. But this can not be skipped. If it plugs into the grid, it must be tested and approved. Personally, I would not like to sell something that I could not be certain about in terms of safety.
Once approved, I can start with production and assembly of PC Boards. The design is already done and tested.
Packaging will be basic ( heavy duty clear plastic with sturdy header card ), and the manual will be a simple A4 printed both sides.
Agents will be appointed in the major centres to manage and distribute products. A commission structure is currently being decided to make it attractive to distributors.
Online sales will also be managed from our web site, using an online payment gateway for immediate payments. Distribution of online order will be via courier, to customers street address.
My estimates are a production cost of around R400, and a retail of approx. R950, an agents commission of R200 per unit, that leave us with R350 per unit.
I have a working prototype
I have potential distributors in Jhb, Dbn and CT that I have worked with.
I have 16 years own business experience in IT and manufacturing.
Most production is outsourced
Final assembly is small office based, so low overheads.
I am prepared to offer up to 45% equity for the total investment.
Likely return - that is going to depend largely on funding for approval and marketing. Any investors with contacts in the distributor chains ( like Verimark ) would also generate a huge boost to sales.
If we reach the target funding goal, we stand a much better chance of success that if we try and kick start this on a shoestring.
Background : Printing Industry, Bar code scanners, custom software development.
Member of own cc for 16 years. Software and Data processing services.