A WALKERBURN plumber’s innovation is going international, writes Sally Gillespie.
Inventor Ross Dickinson launched his ‘Kibosh’ water pipe leak stopper earlier this year. And last week he licensed the clamp-like device to top plumbing products company Rothenberger.
The 35-year-old explained: “I approached a few different people and everybody wanted to get involved. I had to pick the best one. Rothenberger are the Rolls Royce of plumbing devices and make items specifically for plumbing. They are in B and Q, Travis Perkins, everywhere and they are going to roll-out the Kibosh throughout the world.”
The multi-award-winning Kibosh is being produced by Cademuir Toolmakers in Selkirk where family friend Colin MacMillan has been involved from the start four years ago, helping Mr Dickinson develop his invention from idea to product.
Mr Dickinson continued: “Rothenberger’s first order is for 25,000 units and we are gearing up now for multiple pipe sizes globally. It’s great for Cademuir Toolmakers and it’s great for the area because we are looking at making the Kibosh here for a long time. It’s going to be a great boost.”
And he explained: “To get to the next level I needed to partner up with somebody. Rothenberger are really excited about it. It’s a strategic partnership, I’m going to be the brand ambassador and technical advisor.”
The German multinational is in 64 countries and employs 1,500 people designing, producing and selling over 28 million tools annually.
Because the Kibosh was new, it has had to be British Standards Institution (BSI)-tested to set a benchmark for it and Rothenberger recently received the favourable report, said Mr Dickinson.
“They (BSI) thought it was great a British guy had invented this and introduced it to the market.”
The Kibosh won The Pitch competition last November, collecting £50,000 worth of business back up. The invention was runner-up in the Barclays “Take One Small Step” competition last August and it won the New Start Scotland Bright Business Idea last March.
Mr Dickinson first came up with the idea four winters ago.
“I was fixing somebody’s burst pipes in Melrose and the place was absolutely wrecked and I just said to myself, ‘I can’t believe there’s nothing on the market that people could use’, and I just thought of the Kibosh. It just popped into my head.
“I took it to Colin, drew some pictures and explained it to him, and he thought it was a good idea and helped with the prototype development.
“The Kibosh is a clamp-like device, it’s easy to use – it can be done with one hand if you’ve got a tight space. In the worst case scenario it would make a gush into a manageable trickle.”
He said Rothernberg have already come up with more uses for the Kibosh. And the company is keen to develop other ideas Mr Dickinson has, “which is brilliant” says the Tweeddale inventor.