The invention process is about defining needs and solutions to problems.
I used the invention process solve many problems. The photo below shows a CNC lathe with an insert drill. To most people this set up was good enough. I believe everything can be improved. This set up is sloppy at best. The neoprene hose delivers coolant to the insert drill. The coolant shoots out the front of the drill. This is to aid in cutting and carry heat away from the drill and the part. If the coolant stops the insert drill and the part can become red hot and melt.
The problem was the position of the hose reduced the cutting depth of the insert drill. The hose was prone to being cut by chips. The lathe department had 10 different insert drills that were used on two styles of lathes. Workers on the floor were swapping hoses from one insert drill to another. They would walk to other departments looking for zip ties, hoses, and fittings. This was adding labor to every set up.
The invention process requires setting a goal and sticking to it. We needed a set up that was interchangeable to both styles of lathes. As always cost is a factor too. A million dollar solution to thousand dollar problem is useless. Here is what I made.
The parts in the photo above are all standard hardware except the one on the left. The more standard hardware you use the less your invention will cost. Remember faster, better, cheaper always wins the race to the bank!
The photo above shows the parts assembled. This is the invention. We made one assembly for every insert drill. Set up times improved and the company made more money.
The photo above shows the nozzle nut assembly set up in a CNC lathe. The guys on the floor loved this improvement. No had to be told to use this new tool.
As you work on your invention process be sure keep all you sketches, and notes. What seems like a dead end could be a solution for one of your future inventions.
Do you have an idea that could solve a problem? How close are you to making it a reality? If you need some help feel free to
contact me about your invention process
Opportunity is all around us!