Looking for a way to keep your floors dry and workers protected during the worst time of year for floors? We asked New Pig's V.P. of of product development, Dan Silver, to tell us about the New Pig Grippy mats, which stick to the floor but are also repositionable.
NED: What motivated New Pig to develop this product?
DS: Duct Tape! Our PD group uses the expression “look for the duct tape” as a metaphor for finding compensating behaviors; things customer rig up when they can’t find a product to work exactly how they need. New Pig spends more time than any company I know working elbow to elbow with customers looking for those things. Here’s what we saw - our Pig Mat is the most widely used absorbent to soak up oils, fuels, coolants, water, and other nasty stuff to keep the floors clean and the workforce safe. But sometimes we saw people actually using duct tape to secure the mats in place so they would not shift out of position or creep away from the places where they were needed. So, there we were, literally looking at duct tape to solve a problem. That’s a cry for help and we listened.
NED: How is this product different from similar ones on the market today?
DS: Completely different. No one has absorbent mats that work like our Pig®Grippy® Mats. They have an adhesive backing that bonds them to the floor and ensures they lay flat and stay flat. But the mats are repositionable, so when it’s time to pick them up to replace them, they release from the floor easily and don’t leave a sticky mess behind. Our standard Grippy® Absorbent Mat is perfect for absorbing oil and grease around machines and they are durable enough to be walked on and do a great job removing oil from the soles of shoes. Our Grippy® Floor mats are the perfect replacement for the common carpeted rental floor mats. Rental rugs curl at the edges, flip up, wrinkle, and creep out of position. They actually are a known trip hazard. Pig®Grippy® Floor Mats stay in place and prevent trips in addition to reducing slips and falls.
|The adhesive backing on the Grippy Mat prevents your jerky co-worker hitting you with a "have a nice trip" comment.|
What problems needed to be addressed during the development process?
DS: Huge project. One of the biggest things was to create an adhesive formulation that would hold the mats firmly in place but also be repositionable so they could be changed out. So you have two competing goals there. Also, we were determined that the mats should not need a release liner. Release liners are a pain. They make it more difficult to install the mat and then you have to deal with the waste of trashing the liner. It was a long development path with lots of trial and error. But we finally landed the right formulation and process and it was so unique that it was patentable.
How long did it take from conception to ultimate production?
Until we really nailed it, two years. And we are still doing tons of development for this product line. We are getting close to releasing some gen 2 versions based on customer feedback that solve specific issues they deal with.
What effect did cost factors have in changing the final design of this product?
DS: Frankly, we did not think about cost too much in the design phase. We were hell-bent on solving a problem. So we created the best product we could without trying to “pre-solve” a cost issue that might not even materialize. In the end, New Pig is exceptionally good at manufacturing and we use that experience to bring efficiency to everything we make. The result is our Grippy® Absorbent Mats and Grippy® Floor Mats are very affordable. But more importantly, they save TONS of money for our customers. Not only are they cheaper head-to-head against rental mats, but they reduce slip and fall claims by up to 90%. The savings in general liability and worker’s comp claims is huge.
Who is your target audience to be and what benefits will they achieve from using this product?
For the Grippy® Absorbent Mat, the customer is any industrial facility that needs to absorb oils, fuels, coolants, water before they can create slippery conditions on the floor or get into drains and trip them up for complying with EPA regs. It’s great around machines where there is foot traffic that could knock a standard absorbent mat out of place. The Grippy® Floor Mats are the perfect replacement for carpeted rental rugs, wherever you find them, which is in almost every facility. Perfect for commercial spaces where the public may be walking - retail, grocery, hospitals, restaurants, schools and any walkways in factories.
Do you have any other interesting information you would like to add?
DS: New Pig has been the leader in providing solutions for leaks, drips, and spills for over 30 years. Our Grippy®Absorbent Mats and Grippy® Floor Mats truly are disruptive innovations. Game-changers like this don’t come around every day, and we are really excited about them. More importantly, we know Grippy® Mats are helping prevent trips, slips, and falls, so we really want to get the word out.