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Bovonic Quadsense is a shining example of grassroots Kiwi ingenuity at its best. This clever device helps dairy farmers quickly and effectively detect mastitis in their cows.

The idea behind Quadsense was sparked by founder Liam Kampshof’s unique background combining dairy farming and medical engineering. With a clear vision of what the product needed to do and how it would be used, he turned to Blender to help bridge the gap between initial concept and market-ready solution. Read the case study here.

Revolutionising mastitis management.

Existing solutions for detecting mastitis were either expensive, cumbersome, or overly complex for practical daily use on a typical farm. 

“Other devices might tell you there’s an infection, but not with great accuracy,” says Liam. “They analyse the milk from the udder as a whole, diluting the infection indicators.”

Recognising these flaws, he envisioned a more precise, easy-to-use device and created a proof-of-concept prototype. The device’s sensors measure the conductivity of the milk from each teat individually, allowing for more accurate detection. The prototype was first showcased at Fieldays in 2021, the largest agricultural event in New Zealand. The reception was overwhelmingly positive with 150 farmers registering their interest, providing both market validation and crucial feedback directly from potential users. This initial success marked the beginning of a critical phase: transitioning from a promising prototype to a polished, market-ready product. 

Working with Blender has been transformative for us. If you’re looking for a partner to help turn your vision into reality, I couldn’t recommend them more highly.

Partnering with Blender.

Like many startups, Liam and his small team considered taking the DIY path to development. “I was pretty naive to begin with,” says Liam. “At the start I thought we could just keep it simple and do it all in-house. But with the costs adding up quickly, we realised that to do the job properly, we’d need the right help,” says Liam. 

Having joined the Sprout Agritech Accelerator programme, Liam was introduced to Blender as a potential design partner. But as he discovered along the journey, they provided so much more than that. 

Streamlined design and development 

Blender introduced Liam and his team to a structured product development process, guiding them through various design and testing phases crucial for ensuring product reliability and effectiveness.  “Blender showed us what validation tests to run at each development stage and made sure we mitigated potential pitfalls and failure modes that would affect the performance and durability of the product.” 

This comprehensive approach was critical in transforming an innovative idea into a robust and reliable solution.

Enhancing usability for real-world conditions

With the core function validated and working as it should, Blender turned the attention to optimising the user experience.  “The way the device works is relatively straightforward,” explains Liam. “Each sensor is simply attached to a teat of the udder and if there’s a change in the electrical resistance of the milk – a sign of potential infection – the light turns red.”

But a milking shed is a time-constrained, busy, and messy environment, so it was important that the device was both simple to use and robust.  Blender’s design team helped Bovonic strengthen the device’s sensors, junctions, and overall build to withstand daily farm conditions. “Blender helped us focus on the little things that make a big difference – from button placements and battery changes to things like ensuring the device’s alert light is visible in the conditions of a milking shed,” says Liam. This meticulous attention to usability was driven by the principle that technology should simplify tasks, not complicate them.

Leveraging expert knowledge in manufacturing 

Blender’s role extended beyond design refinement; they were instrumental in establishing and streamlining the manufacturing process. “Blender had the manufacturing and production capabilities, as well as the expertise we needed. I had no idea how to even begin contacting manufacturers around the world, let alone ask the right questions or negotiate purchase terms,” Liam explained.

“When it comes to doing something completely new, you have to accept that you don’t know what you don’t know,”

Blender’s comprehensive approach included preparing Quadsense for the realities of mass production. They provided insights into efficient design optimisations that simplified assembly and reduced costs without compromising the integrity of the product. This foresight ensured that Quadsense was not only ready for the demands of the market but was also scalable and sustainably produced.

Getting ready to go big

As Quadsense moves closer to a broader market release, the team at Bovonic, with Blender’s extensive support, is fine-tuning the product through user feedback. This real-world testing is crucial as Quadsense starts appearing on more farms each week, gathering invaluable data to perfect its functionality.

Looking ahead, Liam has ambitious plans for Quadsense with plans to scale up and reach out to the global market. But the process of scaling production is complex, especially when it comes to maintaining quality and managing logistics. “Producing 100 units is quite different from manufacturing 10,000 or even 1,000,” says Liam. 

From finding, vetting, and negotiating with manufacturers to planning production runs, Blender’s involvement ensures that Quadsense can meet increasing demands efficiently. Each stage of scaling up brings its own set of hurdles and complexities, from cost management to quality control. With Blender’s guidance, Bovonic is well-equipped to handle these challenges, ensuring that growth is managed effectively and sustainably.

Expert collaboration at every step

Partnering with Blender has been a transformative experience for Liam and his team. The collaboration has gone beyond initial product development, equipping them with a broad array of tools to tackle diverse business challenges effectively. “It’s really good having access to a diverse team of people who are all experts in their field within new product development” he explains. “Having a partner that can guide you from start to finish has been a huge positive,” says Liam. 

Liam says he also appreciates Blender’s candid approach to collaboration. “They don’t just agree with everything we say. They challenge us, asking the tough questions and pushing us to think through every decision – how it affects the user experience, the feasibility, the ultimate impact,” he says. This level of engagement ensures that every step taken is well-considered and adds real value.

Accelerate your path to market with Blender.

For anyone navigating the complex path from idea to market-ready product, Liam’s recommendation is clear: “Working with Blender has been transformative for us. If you’re looking for a partner to help turn your vision into reality, I couldn’t recommend them more highly.”

Ready to get started, go big, or just sound out an idea? Blender can help take your concept from the drawing board to the hands of customers, turning your vision into a product that not only meets the market but makes a lasting impact. Contact Blender today and let’s make it happen.