Advanced Manufacturing – Medical Device
Gorbel is a global innovator and has over 30 years of experience providing overhead material handling, lifting and safety solutions from 50 lbs to 40 ton to customers in a wide range of industries. They offer a comprehensive line of crane technology products, ergonomic lifting products, and line of tether track fall arrest safety systems for a variety of applications.
In 2012, Gorbel’s President and CEO was presented with an interesting idea. A Gorbel employee had watched as her daughter endured painful gait and balance rehabilitation following a vehicular accident. She observed multiple therapists and assistants guard her daughter, sometimes 4:1, as she learned to walk again. Gorbel’s G-Force® device uses a proprietary “float mode” to allow heavy materials to be moved with precision and little effort by an operator. The employee proposed that the same product concept could provide support and protect patients in rehabilitation.
Though Gorbel has been designing and building rail systems for the industrial space since 1977, the world of physical rehabilitation was unknown to them. Gorbel Medical created SafeGait to address the new application of Gorbel’s technology and meet the challenge of entering an entirely new industry.
Gorbel Medical was presented with the challenge of creating a startup company within a larger organization. HTR combined their experience of supporting startups and established manufacturers while working with the SafeGait product. HTR’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership was able to partner with BZ Design who supported product design, software user interface, and branding of SafeGait. HTR also partnered with several other regional consultants on a wide range of projects and connected Gorbel Medical to additional funding resources for training and tooling.
- Over $30,000 in assistance provided for all projects
- 4 full-time jobs created at Gorbel Medical
- As of August 2016, they have significantly surpassed 2015 annual sales
- 13 units installed nationwide