A North Shore Auckland man’s ‘snappy’ invention attracted a thousand visitors at this month’s Powtech 2010 (powder technology) show in Nuremberg resulting in distributor appointments and potentially millions of dollars in sales.
Three years ago Blair McPheat created the world’s first ‘snap in’ flexible connector that unlike traditional connectors doesn’t need hose clips.
Connectors are generally used by bulk handlers and processors of dry or dusty powders in food, pharmaceutical, and other dust generating industries.
Made from flexible fabric or eurothane film, they link and reduce vibration between ‘moving’ plant and stationery machinery.
Until Mr McPheat’s invention, connectors were usually secured by hose clips or clamps – whose resistance is affected by pressure.
The resulting leaks or bursts can contaminate products and create safety hazards.
McPheat’s BFM connector simply ‘snaps’ into place without the need for tools or multiple workmen, guaranteeing a 100% dust-tight seal, and preventing dust loss from the connector into processing plants. And it seals tighter as pressure increases.
Blair McPheat’s family-owned company, BFM Fittings, had overseas distribution and several millions of dollars of sales before he attended the Nuremberg trade show.
The connector was already being sold in the UK, USA, Australia, Argentina, Denmark, Germany, Canada, Singapore, and Japan, South Africa, and the Netherlands.
Now distributors have just been appointed in Italy and Spain.
And there’s keen interest from companies in France, Israel and Switzerland.
Mr McPheat says there’s the potential to more than double sales of BFM connectors over the next two years.
Another North Shore McPheat family business, filtration manufacturer and exporter, Filtercorp International is the New Zealand distributor of BFM connectors.