Flambeau Inc. is developing a prescription lockbox and may launch the rugged consumer product commercially as soon as next month. Among the product's uses: to prevent teenage drug abuse.
Trident Design LLC of Columbus, Ohio, invented the concept under the trademark ScriptSafe and licensed the patent-pending technology late last year to Flambeau for its industrial markets and packaging group in Baraboo, Wis. Terms were not disclosed.
“We see this as an important initiative for our [IMPG] packaging division,” said Dave Schoell Jr., group vice president of sales. “All of our cases are made in the USA,” he added.
Beyond the abuse-prevention market, “we are seeing a lot of interest from firearm and handgun manufacturers, jewelry companies and others involved in air-travel security and high-end knives,” Schoell said. “We are exploring relationships with a major retailer and catalog houses.”
In seeking a licensee, Trident “talked to a lot of companies before getting to Flambeau,” said Chris Hawker, president of the invention-development firm in Columbus, Ohio. “Others seemed like more obvious candidates, but we could not be in a better position than to be with Flambeau.”
In 2007, Hawker said a teenage relative “borrowed prescription meds to impress girls and got into trouble” prompting thoughts about a solution “big enough for institutions and small enough for houses.”
“I want to help parents control prescription drug abuse by teenagers,” said Hawker, who calls the problem “a huge epidemic” and cites The Partnership at Drugfree .org, based in New York, in saying, “One in five teenagers abuses prescription drugs.”
The Trident dual-locking system includes a screw landing plate for placement on a shelf in a closet or a drawer. “If you can't move the box, you can't pick the lock,” which is in “an inconvenient spot,” he said.
After obtaining the license, Flambeau evolved the concept, conducted beta trials with its largest distributor using fused-deposition models and reached a final design probably using ABS, polycarbonate, an ABS/PC blend or, if requested, a bio-based resin.
Hawker suggested that polypropylene might be a good choice for lower-cost models and ABS, PC or polyamide for “tough-to-destroy” applications.
Routinely, Flambeau incorporates a vapor corrosion inhibitor from Zerust Consumer Products LLC of Twinsburg, Ohio, in molding its boxes. Northern Technologies International Corp. of Circle Pines, Minn., blends the resin and inhibitor, and Zerust provides the blended material to Flambeau in pellets.
The Sauey family's Baraboo-based Nordic Group of Cos. owns Flambeau.