Springfree® Trampolines

Springfree Trampoline is a unique, patented trampoline design that originated out of the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, NZ. Professor Keith Alexander spent over a decade in design and prototyping before the prototype product was acquired by Springfree.

Project Overview

Working with Dr Alexander, the design requiring a significant amount of “productisation development” before it could reach the market, a local engineering group was set up to advance the product into manufacturing.

The Springfree design was completely new and required both new materials and new production processes, previously unused in the trampoline market. As part of that, a unique, “self-locking” edge fitting mechanism was required to be designed and developed. Springfree required an injection moulded plastics partner with strong die design skills and the ability to economically scale production at a local site. The strategy was to maintain tight control over manufacturing and materials selection, so as to make copying the product harder.

The Challenge.

The real problem was designing and moulding a plastic edge fitting or “cleat” that would allow for a spherical termination element (ball) on the end of our proprietary rods, to be engaged in the cleat easily by someone installing the trampoline, but make it virtually impossible, except under specific dis-assembly conditions, for the ball to come out of the cleat. The cleat also needed to hold up to severe stress loads, as any failure of the cleat, e.g. cracking, could result in a rod restrained under high load, to release and cause potential damage.

The Solution.

Action Plastics was chosen for a number of reasons. The plastic edge fitting design required novel moulding and release from cavity technology and Action were prepared to invest in the development when others would not. Further, they developed several unique die functions that have provided a barrier to entry for copy products.

Action brought a number of key skills to the project:

Die design. Where others failed, Action delivered a working moulding system

System testing. Action Plastics worked closely with Springfree engineers to develop complex FMEA (failure mode and effects analysis) tools and protocols to stress test the most unlikely edge case misuse events. The products main selling point is its safety and accelerated destruction testing capability was a requirement we need in a partner. Action provided this.

Our Process.

Action team had in house access to both advanced CAD design tools as well as CNC machining capability  This allowed relatively rapid and fine granular changes to the design as it proceeded to become manufacturable.

Final Outcome.

Action delivered a flexible and highly customer focused environment that allowed both parties to continually improve the design and manufacture of this key component. They have also maintained a competitive economic offering that makes it logical for us to continue to have these parts moulded in New Zealand.

That is why Springfree has continued to use Action Plastics as a key supplier for over 15 years, for this and other projects. Our core materials and components continue to outperform most other products on the market and Action has leveraged their capabilities into other development projects.

Springfree® Customer Testimonial.

“Business is about many things. Innovation. Creating value. Doing things better, and of course, making money. Working with Action over the years has allowed us to be successful in each of these endeavours. We have new projects on the boil with them and look forward to continuing what has been a real “win-win” relationship spanning almost two decades.”