The well-known “Westlab Square Tubing” has been a massive takeover in secondary schools across the world due to the customer centric approach of the Westlab global product development team. In this article we seek to give you a sneak peek into the development of the well-known square Bunsen burner tubing and what inspired our team into this well-known development. The Westlab mantra of Speed, Hassle-free and Creativity played a direct part in the development of this product in every stage and was used as a filter to the product customer centric.
The team at Westlab have an ear that is very close to the ground, listening to common complaints and frustrations of the market. This listening for common and recurring complaints is an integral part of our issue analysis process. We found that lab techs all over Canada and North America were having the same issues with natural rubber tubing. Natural rubber tubing is unpredictable, it can last 2 weeks to 5 years before it starts to perish, harden and breakdown. Direct sunlight can also have an exponentially negative effect on the integrity of the rubber casing it to accelerate into natural decay. We found that schools were not only replacing natural rubber tubing every year but were also picking hard rubber off the ends of gas turrets and Bunsen burner tubing barbs. Perishing rubber also posed a risk where it became very brittle, cracking and allowing natural and LPG gasses to escape prior to egress.
Our team looked at many product compounds that could potentially replace from neoprene through to many types of silicon compounds. We were looking for a compound that could maintain its structural integrity under UV, heat and distortion whilst being impervious to common gasses and liquids. After seeking expert advice and testing many densities and blends of silicon compounds, we fasted on unique silicone mixture that met the demands. The new tubing was taking shape.
Our next challenge was going to market and asking questions to our potential users. We gathered information from many labs to ensure the internal sizing was going to meet the demands of the vast variety of Bunsen tubing barbs. Standardizing was one of the key success to this product assisted greatly with elimination of options making it more hassle-free for our buyers only having to make one choice.
Many other questions were asked to refine and narrow options such as… How easy will the tubing come off and on the tubing barbs? What is the ultimate wall thickness? What happens when the material is subjected to flame? How was the plasticity and resilience? What is the best length to stock the tubing in? What is colour is fit for market? Etc…
The Westlab Creative Touch
Westlab true to our mantra, added our own unique touch to this product. One of our internal guys asked one day, “Why does the external of the tubing have to be round”? We had stumbled across our creative touch! The benefits of square tubing came thick and fast.
- The product now tends to bend on the “x” and “y” axis, making it sit flat on the bench.
- The square external stacked neat and flat in storage.
- The Square had a reduced tendency to kink.
- The product looked like it had been born in the 21st century.
Do you know of a similar frustration that could be innovated to change science forever?
The team at Westlab are hungry for ideas and inspirations. We stick by our mantra to make your fears and frustrations dissipate. If you have a recurring problem, there is a high chance that there are thousands of lab techs that are going through the same pains. Westlab can and will make it come to reality. Outline your idea or frustration and email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and wait for the action.