Since 1971, production of this cylinder has been consistent and substantial. A long-term business relationship resulted, and other sized pressure cylinders were added to the mix.
During the mid ’90s, the customer’s marketing department became aware of several issues with the cylinder:
- The seams between the top and bottom halves and the foot stand allowed a crevice where rust could form, shortening the life of the product.
- The foot stand was of a lighter gauge steel which dented easily if dropped, compromising the stability of the cylinder.
- A cavity between the foot stand and the bottom of the pressure cylinder could trap water, causing hidden rust problems and failure of the product.
- The cylinder was originally designed to meet D.O.T. pressure certification that was lower than other certifications. Fire extinguisher testers and re-fillers had to acquire an additional license to service these cyclinders, which affected the product’s appeal and limited marketing opportunities.
To increase the product’s marketability the customer needed to:
- Upgrade the pressure rating to meet the requirements of Underwriter’s Laboratories.
- Keep the cylinder the same size as the existing product to insure that existing hardware or installations would not have to be redesigned.
- Maintain the existing selling price.
The customer brought these needs to Larson Tool early in 1997 and asked for help in redesigning the existing product