Paul Foot | HellermannTyton Cable Ties patent

Cable ties are commonly used in the packaging industry, for example to seal bags, secure an item to a support, bundle objects together or for security purposes.
The patent for the original cable tie was in filed in 1958 by American company Thomas & Betts (now part of ABB). Inspired by a solution used to organise large amounts of cabling in the wiring harnesses of large aircraft, and the flexible plastic tie straps have since been widely adopted. Their low production cost and ease of use has led to cable ties having many domestic and industrial applications, not limited to electrical cable management.
The rigid design of the traditional cable tie is intended to prevent any expansion or flexing of secured objects, however this can cause issues when supporting or displaying fragile products, such as plants or compressible tubing.
In these circumstances, a more sympathetic means of securing objects is required that provides sufficient retention but allows movement and retains the convenience of the original cable tie, so that, for example, growth or expansion is allowed for, and damage to the tied object is mitigated.
Cable management company, HellermannTyton, is at the forefront of innovation in this area and has recently been granted a patent which addresses the problems created by the traditional cable tie.Patent GB 2519141 describes a fastening tie (shown in the figures) with a flexible elongated strap (2) and locking sections (22) arranged along its length. A series of neck sections (24) interconnect with the locking sections, each of which has a slot through which a further locking section (22) passes when the strap formed into a loop. The neck section includes a dome-shaped projection (32) which extends from the upper and lower surfaces of the tie. The slots on the strap are expandable in height to allow the neck (24) to pass through, thus preventing damage to the article the fastener is tied to.
This patent is one of a number of applications filed in the UK and internationally in recent years by HellermannTyton, covering a range of ties, tools and cable management devices across various sectors. Building an Intellectual Property (IP) portfolio which both protects and expands the company’s product range is a strategic initiative which makes good commercial sense, securing a strong position for the business.
This is something that should be considered by any business or individual with an innovative or new product or design. Having a good idea is only the first step; ensuring that nobody else can claim it as their own is the second and seeking out IP protection is the best way of going about this.…access full source

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