Saturday, March 15, 2014

Curl-O-Wrap-O-Matic Mark II -- one of the keys to Olympic Gold

It might not rank up there with the EQ brush head, but a couple of Mississauga, Ont., entrepreneurs can get a small bit of credit for helping Canada's Olympians take home gold medals from Sochi. 

And it's all thanks to a frying pan and the cord from a vacuum.

As the Caledon Enterprise detailed, Laura Piggot and Robert Fischer designed the system that puts those custom designs on the broom handles of the Canadian teams 

Five years ago the duo were tasked by Goldline, one of the world’s largest curling supply stores that has its headquarters in Mississauga, with trying to wrap custom-designed, digitally-printed vinyl around a the shaft of a curling broom. 
They agreed, Fischer said, because “we didn’t know any better.”“We didn’t know you couldn’t,” he said. 
Generic broom designs are already mass-produced in countries like China, silkscreened by the thousands. But to print a vinyl sleeve individually to include a team name, an additional logo or a player’s initials requires smaller productions, which big facilities aren’t geared toward. 
“The set-up charges would be enormous,” Fischer said, “it would be a $10,000 curling broom.” 
So Fischer, who has a background in electrical engineering, set up a lathe, to enable cutting, sanding and other changes, in the back room and cut it in half, setting to work.

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