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Thread: Mains Delay - Life After Loadshedding

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    Gold Member daveob's Avatar
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    Mains Delay - Life After Loadshedding

    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.

    Regards
    Dave


    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.


    The Pitch

    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.


    Highlights

    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.


    The Deal

    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.

    The Team
    Me
    Designer
    IT programmer
    Background : Printing Industry, Bar code scanners, custom software development.
    Member of own cc for 16 years. Software and Data processing services.
    Watching the ships passing by.

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    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    I WANT LOTS of these. I do not want some of my machines to power up after a mains failure. I want to be forced to inspect the machine before it comes back on so your product suits my needs perfectly.

    I have everything that is needed to build a prototype (CNC, laser, injection moulding machine, 3D printer, PCB etcher....etc.) and I have access to serious funding etc.

    What do you need to get the project going?
    How easily someone is offended is directly proportional to how stupid they are.
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    Gold Member IMHO's Avatar
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    Dave, is this a 'per appliance' unit?
    ~Expenses will eat you alive! - My first Boss~

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    Gold Member daveob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IMHO View Post
    Dave, is this a 'per appliance' unit?
    Hi IMHO

    Nice thing about this unit is that the solid state relay is rated 40 amps.

    The initial model of the device has a cord with 3 pin plug to plug in to your wall socket, and a 3 pin socket ( the controlled power output ) for your appliance to plug in to.

    If you're wanting to protect the home entertainment system that is currently plugged into a wall socket, then you use it there.

    So you can use it per device ( or per wall socket ), or you could even connect to SSR inline with your DB breaker for the plugs circuit. You would need a suitably qualified electrician to make sure it is done and complies with regs, COC, etc.

    I have already started design on a modification that will allow up to 2 or 3 SSRs to be controlled at the same time, with different timer delays for each, from the same MainsDelay unit. That way you can stagger the time delay for each circuit. 5 minutes for plugs, 10 minutes for geyser, etc.

    But if you are wanting this unit for ensuring that the power to a certain piece of equipment does not start up until you say so, then using it in a 'per applicance' situation would be ideal.
    Watching the ships passing by.

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    Gold Member daveob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adrianh View Post
    I WANT LOTS of these. I do not want some of my machines to power up after a mains failure. I want to be forced to inspect the machine before it comes back on so your product suits my needs perfectly.

    I have everything that is needed to build a prototype (CNC, laser, injection moulding machine, 3D printer, PCB etcher....etc.) and I have access to serious funding etc.

    What do you need to get the project going?
    Hi Adrian

    Sounds like the MainsDelay unit is exactly what you need.

    The prototype is all done and testing on my PC / UPS system right now. The unit is designed to fit into two standard 4x4 pvc surface mount boxes. 1 for the 3 pin outlet socket and SSR, and the other for the electronics.

    I already have a source for bulk production of the PCBs and can even move to having them fully populated if volumes start increasing.

    There are 2 small PVC brackets that I would like to add to the inside of the box, just to make assembly faster and easier, but they are minor items.

    The biggest requirement that I have right now is initial funding.

    I want to get the electrical compliance testing completed, so we have some form of safety verification, and then to start initial production and marketing.

    So the top of the list is :
    funding
    marketing skills / contacts with corporates ( builders warehouse, verimark, etc )

    I will pm my contact details if you need to discuss.

    Regards
    Dave
    Watching the ships passing by.

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    Diamond Member wynn's Avatar
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    OK so once you have got the compliance certification up give it to TFSA members to do the selling for you, stage two solved.
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    Gold Member daveob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wynn View Post
    OK so once you have got the compliance certification up give it to TFSA members to do the selling for you, stage two solved.
    Thanks Wynn

    You got the right understanding there.

    I think that there is such a big market for this, it could be retailed by any number of industries - and a lot of the members on this forum are in perfect positions and industries to do exactly that.

    The PC techie could sell this on to every person who brings in their dead PC for repair.

    The electrician can sell it to the clients as a high level protection solution for increasing system lifespans, etc.

    I do believe that we will be looking for as many distribution avenues as we can. Get enough products in to the market, and the word-of-mouth should create a snowball effect.
    Watching the ships passing by.

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    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    This is the first chance that I've had to properly read through the opening post. You want R1mil to get going....? Noboby would invest that kind of money.

    I think that it is a great product and I would certainly buy a couple myself but I can't see why it requires so much money to get off the ground.

    What are you going to do when the big boys catch on and start manufacturing their own versions?
    How easily someone is offended is directly proportional to how stupid they are.
    ~GS Elevator

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    Gold Member Houses4Rent's Avatar
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    what about crowd funding?
    Houses4Rent
    "We treat your investment as we treat our own"
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    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    I simply cannot see why so much money is required.
    How easily someone is offended is directly proportional to how stupid they are.
    ~GS Elevator

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