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INDUSTRIAL ENGINEER – VOLUME 47, NUMBER 4
Wife’s idea spurs IE husband’s patent-pending device
Karen Smoots of Portagee, Michigan, had an idea of reusing the warm air expelled by their home’s heating vents. So Ryan Smoots used PVC tubes, plastic and about $250 worth of items from a hardware store to design The Green Glove Dryer. The 12-by-4inch polypropylene device has six nozzle and is placed over a floor heat register. Wet gloves can be put on the nozzles and dry within an hour – a big help during the brutal Midwest winters.
The “green” part of the name comes from the fact that the device reuses the heated air that pumps almost continually through Michigan households in the winter, according to the website.
The couple worked with mold maker Levannes Inc. of Portage to design molds and then W-L Molding Co. to produce the dryer. Levannes’ co-owner, Tony Stender, admitted that he was skeptical when the couple arrived, but he liked what he saw in the patent-pending device.
“You kind of smack yourself in the head and say, “Why didn’t I think of that?” he said.
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