Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius, and a lot of courage, to move in the opposite direction.”
This famous quote from Albert Einstein could easily be talking about a new invention by a County Louth electrician and his four-year challenge to get it to the marketplace.
QuikReel, an invention by Padraic Lenaghan aimed at eliminating the frustrations of anyone working with cables such as damaging the reel, cable spiralling off broken cardboard and kinks and curls, went on sale last month.
And the Hackballscross man is delighted with the early feedback and sales for a product which has been praised for its simple design and construction. “Now the product is out there I have heard a lot of comments from electricians along the lines of ‘why had this not been invented 20 years ago’,” said Padraic.
Padraic’s eureka moment came when he was rewiring a farmhouse and found an old blue and white enamel dish in the roofspace – the kind they used back in the day for washing and shaving. “I put it on the floor and an idea flashed in my mind,” he said. “I began to spin the plate and it rotated on itself very easily.
“The dish was about 14 inches across and it looked about the same size as my reel of cable, so I put my cable reel in the dish and began drawing out the cable. To my amazement the dish spun around in the same place while I drew the cable.”
Padraic worked through some design concepts and looked at the pros and cons of each before he developed a number of prototypes. “The first one I developed was approximately 17 inches wide and someone made the comment that it could be too cumbersome for packing into a van,” said Padraic. “This was all vital feedback which I took on board and I tweaked and changed things as I went.”
The more compact and user-friendly final version makes cable dispensing trouble-free. It’s lightweight, sturdy and compact and fits most popular cable reel sizes. It’s easy to load and the compression gland nut secures it to keep your cable reel dry and protected. The easiest way to describe the action is comparing it to a child’s spinning top which spins on its own axis with only one point coming into contact with the ground.
From the initial concept through to the development of the prototypes and eventually to the marketplace it has taken four years of hard work for Padraic. The process certainly hasn’t put him off as he already has plans for future prototypes.
“It has been exciting though, from conjuring up the idea to bringing it to the marketplace has been a great experience.”
“I have a great relationship with Super Rod. When I met them to demonstrate QuikReel they liked it immediately which was great.”
QuikReel will be available in Ireland across a range of electrical wholesalers from June.