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Simcro wins at 2009 Best Design Awards

Simcro has beaten off competition from 79 entries to win a bronze award for its unique Optiline™ Drencher at the 2009 BeST Design Awards held in Auckland recently.

The BeST Design Awards are a national award programme of the Designer’s Institute of New Zealand, recognising New Zealand’s best graphic, product and spatial design.

Hamilton-based Simcro is a design manufacturing company that specialises in providing customised animal health delivery solutions to the pharmaceutical industry. The company claimed a bronze award in the non-consumer category of the product section of the awards. The overall competition attracted 590 entries.

“We are delighted to receive this prestigious award. We believe that innovative design gives our products the edge in challenging world markets. This award is a tribute to the excellence achieved by our design and engineering team and the high standards expected by our directors and our multi-national clients,” comments Rod Walker who is head of research and development at Simcro.

In 2006, Novartis Animal Health, Switzerland, challenged Simcro and several of their global competitors to supply a revolutionary new sheep drenching system to launch a new drench, ZOLVIX® (monepantel). Simcro rose to the challenge with the development of the Optiline™ sheep drench gun.

Mr Walker challenged the design of the traditional pistol-grip style drench gun, which had not changed from its basic form in 30 years.

Walker, a professional engineer, grew up on a Waikato farm and his search for a new drenching solution was inspired by a childhood experience.

“I recalled using a long-neck (Waikato) beer bottle ‘upside-down’ to direct drench down the throat of sick animals on the farm, a procedure that was simple and easy to administer,” he says.

The inherent design flaw of the pistol-grip gun is that the drench nozzle points away from the operator, requiring them to rotate their hand through 180 degrees to administer the drench into the sheep’s mouth.

The resulting incompatible bio-mechanics create significant operator fatigue and discomfort, and with sustained use, injury to the wrist, forearm and back.

The Optiline™ drench gun overcomes these problems by having the drench nozzle protruding from the base of the operator’s hand, allowing for a natural presentation of the drench gun with precise control, thus greatly minimising stress to the operator and animal.

Simcro has recently been on a roll in receiving awards. In June, the company was a finalist in the New Zealand Agritech Innovation Awards with its Optiline™ drencher. In August, company director Rod Walker won the prestigious Bayer Innovators Award for design and engineering. And in September, the company was a finalist in three categories of the 2009 New Zealand Trade and Enterprise International Business Awards.

The Optiline™ drench gun is just one example of the Simcro range of animal health delivery products.

Simcro’s desire to develop a safer way for vets and farmers to inject livestock has led Pfizer and other industry players to adopt the company’s Sekurus TM safety injector for use with existing and new vaccines, such as Pfizer’s Improvac®.

The Sekurus injector is designed with operator safety in mind and therefore significantly contributes to the reduction of the risk of accidental self-injection and needle stick injuries due to the addition of enhanced safety features.

The company currently has approximately 40 projects under development for the leading global animal health companies.

Simcro’s international partners include Novartis Animal Health Inc, Pfizer, Schering-Plough Intervet, Merial, Ancare, and Argenta.

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