Inspiration that leads to innovation may come when you least expect.
I recently sat down with Steve Rice, president of Ritron, who recalled a visit to a construction site about 10 years ago that had positive implications that were certainly unforeseen at the time, and absolutely welcomed today.
In conjunction with an industry conference and trade show in Las Vegas, a Ritron dealer arranged for Steve to visit a high-rise construction project where the building of a new condominium complex was underway. The dealer had recently sold several heavy-duty Ritron XT Series callboxes to the construction management company in charge of the high-rise project.
“It’s very gratifying to walk into a customer’s site and see our radio products in use,” Steve recalled. “In fact, it’s invigorating, even exhilarating to capture real life feedback from end users to enable us to serve them with improvements that meet a real need.”
The real need that was identified on this visit was the high-rise construction hoist used to transport workers and supplies to the proper floor had abandoned the use of wired intercoms in favor of the wireless callboxes designed and manufactured by Ritron.
As we viewed some video of the visit, Steve educated me: “Next to the stationary building, the moving hoist used to pull a spooled cable up and down and was prone to damage. This system chafed and frayed the communication cable, rendering it inoperative, creating downtime and expensive delays.”
“Removing the traditional wired intercoms from the equation created a perfect storm for us. This was a situation where wireless technology was truly superior at providing a solution for the customer. This was the perfect application for wireless communication. In fact, observing the workers using the callboxes to contact the cab operator on the ground floor to put the hoist into action inspired us to look further into the construction industry for opportunities.”
This visit to the construction site planted the seeds for what would become the Q-Series callbox. This purpose built, durable, weather-resistant wireless callbox is now in action in hundreds of construction industry applications.
“We were inspired to create a more tailored version of our callbox to help customers solve on the job problems. We put our engineering expertise and intuition into action and made the Q-Series real. The result was a product that dramatically increased our opportunities in the construction industry. It’s a huge adrenaline rush knowing our products are successfully solving real problems on the job.”
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