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The best wearable heating system on the market. Together with strong clothing brands.

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - MAXHEAT (The best wearable heating system on the market. Together with strong clothing brands.)

Période du rapport: 2020-03-01 au 2020-08-31

Inuheat is a Swedish company focused on developing wearable heating systems which can be easily integrated in clothing. Our business strategy is to associate with leading clothing brands to implement our technology in their clothes. Our aim is to become the global standard in wearable heating technologies.
Available wearable heating systems face multiple limitations, mainly the need for costly adaptations of manufacturing lines, a high price and low comfort, durability and efficiency. In 2016, Inuheat started the commercialisation of the Inuheat Wearable Heating Platform (IWHP), an innovative wearable heating system with advanced features allowing an easy implementation into standard clothing manufacturing equipment.
MaxHeat is the next step in Inuheat’s product pipeline. It will help outdoors enthusiasts and workers to keep warm by offering an affordable, easy to implement wearable heating system providing comfort, durability (3 years) and efficiency (8 hours battery life) while enabling full product traceability and a disruptive 2-way communication channel with the final users of the garments through a cloud network.
With MaxHeat project we aim to up-scale our production and fully develop MaxHeat cloud network. MaxHeat scale up will allow us to bring our production to Sweden, creating jobs and contributing to the development of the European industry. A strong commercialisation strategy will guarantee MaxHeat successfully reaches its target end users (clothing brands and final users of the heated garments), expanding our client base and sales.
It has been challenging to develop and specify the special equipment that shall monitor the conductivity of the yarn to guarantee a stable and high quality through the entire run, defining the ingoing yarn positions as well as the special feeder required to achieve the desired productivity when running the ingoing conductive delicate yarns. In this development, Inuheat had the possibility to hire a twisting machine for evaluation and have been able to define the process parameters and settings for different yarn combinations. The first products were tested (1000 units) and 3 brands in Europe from August 2019 to March 2020. The feedback and testing came out very positive and Inuheat have started to deliver yarn for prototypes and production at clothing brands facilities since November 2019.
New business opportunities in the early commercialization phase increased the possible volumes to 1-3 million power pack units per year. This was too high to be produced in Sweden, therefore a cooperation was initiated with Flex. Preparation was made to start the implementation of the production line in early 2020, and production start was set to the summer of 2020. Due to the Corona virus we expected a delay of up to six months, but after a few months with the virus we concluded that we needed to investigate another solution to lower our risk exposure. We found that we most likely can move the production into the EC area. One of the main reasons for this is that we can use a more automatizated production line and are therefore less dependent on low-cost wages. Prestudies are finalized for preparation of the design of the production line to secure an effective production flow.
A null series with a PCB solution with discrete components was developed to start up the work with production studies and test and to verify the production tools/hardware in Q3 2019. The null series was produced in Sweden to speed up the process and ensure deliveries for testing in November 2019. The work with the production line programming and development & manufacturing of testing hardware was finalized in Q3 2019.
Our cloud network solution is based on the platform FileMaker Pro. To ensure secure access to the system, Inuheat has developed a web interface with login for different types of users. To be able to give the different roles different access to the system. The Maxheat cloud system will give Inuheat an excellent portal towards the end users and Inuheat have received very positive feedback from potential customers (brands) on the possibilities in the cloud system as a communication platform as well as an excellent opportunity for Inuheat to receive performance data on the equipment (apparel and Power Packs). As origin, Inuheat does not store personal data unless approved by the user and always following the GDPR directive.
During the development phase, Inuheat has concluded that a different API than the initial selected had to be used to meet requested needs. Recoding the end users’ apps (Android and iOS) had to be made to communicate with the new API and have taken additional efforts. Inuheat believes that the Maxheat project will benefit greatly from this change and will also give Inuheat earlier unknown business opportunities. The cloud network was ready for commercialization launch Q4 2019.
Inuheat opened an office in North America in 2018, (earlier than expected) due to the opportunity to hire a highly experienced VP Sales & Marketing for the commercialization and communication phase. The Inuheat LLC. in Wilmington, Delaware brings in great business opportunities for Inuheat Group AB and its production facility in Sweden.
The US sales team is taking the lead on all customers both in North America and Europe. The development with projects and customers follows the plan and especially with the larger clothing brands in the US. We have collaborations with around 20 strong brands.
The introduction of MaxHeat into the market will have very positive impacts in the EU and globally from an economic and social perspective:
Development of European industry: Up to date, Inuheat’s production has relied in Asian suppliers and manufacturers. With the scale up of MaxHeat technology, Inuheat will bring the production of our heating technology to Sweden and other countries within the EC, contributing to the creation of jobs and the development of the European industry.
Increasingly competitive clothing industry: Currently, brands producing heated clothing have to invest large amounts of resources in the development and implementation of their own heating technology. MaxHeat offers the opportunity to create smart heated clothing product lines based on a thoroughly trialled technology which can be easily implemented in standard production lines.
Improved well-being and productivity for outdoor workers: Only in Europe, more than 13 million people work in the construction, mining and quarrying sectors. Workers in these segments usually work outdoors and are periodically exposed to low temperatures and cold-related conditions. MaxHeat will provide outdoor workers with effective heated clothing that combines high performance with comfort, durability and affordable costs, improving their working conditions and productivity.
Reduced environmental impact: Most top end heating systems incorporate silver coated fabrics, which are considered hazardous for the environment due to the release of toxic silver ions. All the components of MaxHeat (yarn, fixing label and PowerPack) comply with EU regulation and avoid the use of environmentally hazardous substances. Moreover, MaxHeat will comply with the Oeko-Tex 100 standard, which guarantees no harmful substances are used in a specific textile product.