If you have any experience using hand tools as a contractor or homeowner, we have all been in the situation of needing to find a specific nail, screw, bolt, tool or nut for a particular application. Often, the desired item is within arms reach but hidden inside a storage container without an easy way of locating.
This problem of locating specific items within a storage container is solved by an innovation called a Display Sheet. The patent covers applications of the Display Sheet that can be used in different products but the discussion will now be confined to a hardware storage bag as this is the easiest to understand and present.
Imagine a drawstring bag full of miscellaneous hardware such as bolts, screws, small tools, nails, etc. and the user needs to find a particular item. At present, this cannot be done easily because looking down into the open bag most likely will not reveal the desired item. Dumping the bag out on a flat surface will work but now the items have to be tediously returned to the bag, wasting time.
The Display Hardware Drawstring Bag (video link) is unique because it uses an innovation called a Display Sheet which is typically attached to the inside mouth of the bag in a location that allows normal functioning of the drawstring for closure. The Display Sheet is stored inside the bag and completely hidden when the bag is closed. When the bag’s user wants to search the bag for an item, this is easily done by opening the bag and pulling out the Display Sheet through the bag opening and arranging so the Display Sheet lays flat on any available surface. The distal end of the bag is then raised vertically, pouring the contents of the bag on top of the flattened Display Sheet thus spreading out the contents in a single layer for convenient viewing. When the particular item has been located, the items can then easily be returned to the bag using the Display Sheet by grasping the two corners and sliding items quickly back into the bag.
In addition to the Display Hardware bag allowing a user to quickly find and return items to a bag, it should also be mentioned that when the Display Sheet is fully open and the contents are displayed that this creates a work platform that can be very convenient. The bag can be left in this alternate position for as long as the user wants (hours, days), providing easy access to the bags contents without having to search the bag.
Also, the advantages of using a drawstring bag should be mentioned. A drawstring bag will adapt to available space, an important feature when placed in a crowded toolbox. In addition, when empty, the bag will compress to almost nothing allowing it to be stored in a small space so it is available when needed. It is also convenient to carry the bag using the drawstring.
I have presented the Display Sheet as being used with Hardware but I could also have sold it as an electrician’s bag for holding an assortment of wire nuts, a bag for small hand tools such as the stubby Philips head screw drivers that are always missing, an assortment of keys for a job site. This product was considered being called a CatchAll bag, meaning the user could decide what would go in the bag. The user covers a broad spectrum and could be a homeowner, contractors in the electrical and telecommunications markets, aviation, construction, electronics, mining and general industry.
Provided are some photographs of the display sheet bags used in a work-space and include a bag of air compressor parts attached to an air compressor, a bag of accessories for a rotary tool, a bag of sewing supplies, a bag of tools and optional mechanical attachments for a sewing machine and a bag of various hardware accessories used when installing heating cable to prevent ice dams. In all of these applications, the display sheet provided a better solution than an ordinary drawstring bag which itself is good for storage. The point is that users will find their own uses for a Display Sheet bag creating a demand for the bag beyond just hardware applications. How far will this market go? It would not be surprising if fifty years from now, all drawstring bags would be made with a display sheet.
A hand tool and storage manufacturing company should consider the opportunity of adding display sheet technology to their products for the following reasons. A Display Sheet is a fairly inexpensive and easily manufactured item which can be added to a new or existing product. Also, this product could be on the market fairly quickly with minimum research and development cost and investment.
We did a survey of a Display Cosmetic bag around Boston, MA. The results from 40 women were that 95% would buy the product if reasonably priced. Now cosmetics is not hardware but the results indicate that people appreciate the value of a product that allows convenient storage, portability and easy location of desired items. One of the most common responses was “now I won’t have to go digging through my handbag to find…”. For our discussion here, we can replace the word handbag with toolbox in that last sentence. Any product that saves your clients time, avoids frustration and provides convenience by finding the items they want quickly is a product that should be offered for sale.
If you are still unsure of the potential of this product please consider why you wouldn’t want to produce a product that is useful, inexpensive to make, has multiple applications, saves time, avoids frustration and 95% of people surveyed would purchase.