Universal Propane Adapter Kit™ (The UPAK™)
INI Power Systems approached Porticos with a request for a new adapter for their IG2000-IC generator. The versatile device was built to convert liquid fuel, like diesel, jet-fuel, gasoline, and even alcohol, into electricity, but INI Power Systems wanted an adaptor that would allow the unit to also consume compressed gas, such as propane and butane. To reach this goal, the Porticos design team created the Universal Propane Adapter Kit™ (or The UPAK™).
- Concept Design
- Detail Design
- Tolerance Analysis
- Product Design
To reach this goal, the Porticos design team had to first figure out the fluid-control circuit: multiple valves, regulators and governors. The engineers then determined what components were available to perform the needed functions and how efficiently they could be packed into an ergonomic device. Some clever mechanical architecture was needed to accomplish all goals in a portable device.
Built for Portability, Durability, and Functionality
- The unit is no larger than a hardback book and can be easily carried in a pack or gear case
- The enclosure is constructed of thin but high-strength aircraft aluminum, making the kit both durable and lightweight
- The product requires very little capital expenditure to fabricate
- The kit allows for fast and easy connection to several common compressed-fuel vessels and is adaptable to many others
- The device controls pressure and flow-rate
- The controls allow for users to make adjustments, which is important at very high altitudes and in temperature extremes
Strong Product Design
According to Larry Markoski, President of INI Power Systems, “Porticos was extremely flexible as we figured out what we needed this device to do. It’s a success story. The UPAK™ design is extremely popular. The first few dozen units were purchased as soon as we built them.”
Only six months after requesting the adaptor from Porticos, INI Power Systems began building units for sale.
The UPAK™ is a classic example of how the Porticos design team can help companies expand products, and it’s a remarkable example of a low-cost solution that provides the potential for high profitability.