Cover Story


Rapid Saddle: A Metpro Innovation

Innovation. One word that is becoming more and more common within the UK M&E market. In a world where time saving, leaner processes and reduced costs are fundamental, new products designed with these needs in mind are beginning to take a foothold in a previously stagnant environment. Aiming to be at the forefront of this exciting shiſt is West Midlands-based supplier, Metpro. Its first move: Rapid Saddle.

The Concept

simple; they work. A prime example of this is the steel conduit system that has been in use now for over a century, and it’s easy to see why. Overall, it’s robust, has a lengthy lifespan and ultimately does the job. However, the


limitations of these longstanding systems are now starting to become more apparent as designers, procurement managers and construction workers are being tasked with creating sleeker buildings, working safer and ultimately reducing installation costs where possible. Metpro wish to bring new ideas and products

to the market through its own internal resources and by working with innovators within the industry. It began by looking inward at its own portfolio

and asked a question which would become its mission statement: “What products do we sell that can be

improved for the benefit of the industry?” Investment in the company’s Research &

Development department was quickly boosted and the team worked to identify where there was potential. A quick-fix spacer bar saddle was pitched within days and the concept for Rapid Saddle was born. Tasked with taking Rapid Saddle from concept

to reality and working to keep this new idea in line with its current counterparts, Mike Holmes, Product & Vendor Development Manager at Metpro commented on how fiddly and time- consuming to install both he and Grand Lee, the company’s Senior Engineer, found traditional products to be:

10 | electrical wholesalerJune 2019 Mike

continues. “We knew we wanted to offer this new product in a variety of finishes for use in different

able management systems have been around for decades, and key reasoning for this staying power is

“We set about trying to find a way that was easier and faster but still retained the classic look of current spacer bar saddles. We started by looking at the functionality and fixing method of traditional saddles. With the current product, users are required to loosen the two saddle strap screws, remove the strap, secure the base and introduce the tube with one hand before reintroducing the saddle strap with the other. An epiphany came from this testing; it has to be a single piece unit. This was where Rapid Saddle really began to take shape and we came up with the unique, registered hinge design seen on the product today.” Mike and Grand set about creating drawings based around the hinge idea with several iterations being prototyped for testing

Rapid Saddle Closed

through the latest 3D Solidworks software and

Metpro’s in-house state-of-the-art 3D printer. “Once we had settled on a design, we then

looked into how we could refine it in order to maximise on the potential,”

Rapid Saddle Open

environments and so, through some very small design adjustments we have been able to create a product that we are not only incredibly proud of but one that will offer significant benefits to end-users. A bi-product of our findings was that we could use this new Rapid Saddle as an alternative to current distance saddles, with all the benefits of installation time savings.”

The Benefits Rapid Saddle’s most prominent benefit is its massive 40%+ labour saving. This huge figure is based on tests undertaken by the company in order to prove how much easier their new saddle is and readers are encouraged to see for themselves how this was done by watching Metpro’s ‘Rapid Saddle vs Spacer Bar Saddle’ video on the company’s YouTube channel or LinkedIn page. It is a combination of benefits that allow for such a significant time saving. Metpro intentionally designed Rapid Saddle to be supplied with its single screw fixed to allow the end-user to simply unclip the strap, meaning no saddle straps to loosen or drop. Once all the required units are installed, the

hanging saddle strap allows for lengths of conduit tube to be held in situ before the straps are easily flipped up and secured. Metpro’s tests revealed Rapid Saddle, as a one- piece unit, has even greater labour savings when working at height. By retaining the strap and base together, installers’ further benefit from a much safer working environment, a key factor in today’s working climate. Another major benefit; boasting its 5mm deep base, Rapid Saddle offers the same clearance as standard distance saddles. This key feature makes it ideal for uneven walls and working with the latest technology, Metpro applied the anti-corrosion Delta

Protekt 120® finish, creating a product that does the same job as distance saddles but has the major time saving on installation, with the

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