Skip to main content

FlexOne - Unbreakable cables

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - FlexOne (FlexOne - Unbreakable cables)

Reporting period: 2018-02-01 to 2018-04-30

Cables and connectors used in electronic devices are often exposed to considerable wear and tear, which can lead to mechanical breakage and ultimately failure of the entire device. Although the cable usually represents a minor part of electronic devices, it is still often the limiting component of their lifetime. This problem is well known in consumer products such as headphones, but it concerns every electronic system where cables move, including critical applications such as production line robots, where cable failure can lead to the interruption of a full production line, causing loss of money. Cable reliability is equally a concern for medical devices, where cable failure can even be life-threatening.
To tackle the problem of cable breakage, we have developed a novel cable technology based on stretchable and conductive materials. Our cables have an exceptional lifetime: the flex life of our cable prototypes has been quantified using an industrial standard test protocol, and excellent results showed outstanding lifetime improvements. This unique performance is possible thanks to FlexOne, which is the best-in-class material available among stretchable and conductive materials.
In this feasibility study, the main objectives were 1) to optimize the FlexOne material properties (composition, performance, cost) and 2) to establish a supply chain model for the launch of our highly reliable cable products.
Technically, we have reviewed the specifications of our materials and defined the requirements to achieve the scaling-up of the material production during Phase 2 execution. In collaboration with cable manufacturers, we have further identified the optimal material composition and form for the production of first cable products.
Moreover, we have developed a strategy to produce two new cable products: The first product is a highly robust and flexible cable and the second product is an intelligent cable that can anticipate cable failure. To bring these products to the market, we have prepared a complete Technical Execution Plan for the product development, including planning, organization, risk analysis, and budget requirements.
Commercially, we have assessed our target markets to find the right early adopters and to consolidate our go-to-market strategy, and we have performed an analysis of the competitive landscape. We have furthermore been able to file a patent on an aspect of our technology.
Finally, on the economic side, financial forecasts which are based on our marketing and pricing strategy, have been drafted to establish a 7-year projection.
We are offering cables with an improved flex lifetime to market segments where the cable failure implies pain of end users, financial loss or health risk, among other consequences. For example, in medical devices, leads and cables are often the most vulnerable component of critical devices. Despite advanced cable and lead engineering, lead failure is still a problem today, which was confirmed in many customer interviews conducted during the feasibility study. With our cable solutions, these problems will be significantly reduced.
Thanks to the unique materials used, our cables will have a lifetime drastically beyond all state-of-the-art solutions, which will significantly improve the safety of critical devices. Our vision is that in the future, there will be no more pain, risk and financial losses due to cable failure.
Finally, we believe that reliable cables can help to decrease the massive amount of electronic waste, which has become a serious issue in our society.
FlexOneTM material. This figure shows extruded filaments of the FlexOneTM material