Problem / Opportunity:
ServerLift Corporation identified the need for a server handling solution. Computer servers in data centers are mounted in racks, generally in rails. The servers generally range between 30 and 500 pounds. Personnel injuries, data loss and equipment damage are the primary concerns that drive the market. Additionally, productivity of high salaried professionals was being drained by the need for 2-3 IT staffers to perform heavy manual labor.

The ServerLift SL500 is an electronic server lift for computer servers in data center environments. The 24" wide SL500 was designed to easily navigate even the narrowest aisles and fit through the lowest doorways. Its telescoping mast raises the shelf to a maximum height of 96"—the tallest shelf height found in data centers. A stabilizing brake and side shifting platform help make the SL500 the only server handling device that enables safe and efficient server installation and migration—even by one person.

Raytech’s Development team worked with the client beginning with the market research, and continuing throughout the entire process including preliminary design, animation, market validation research, preliminary product costing, detailed product design for manufacturability, graphic design, ergonomics, product engineering, electrical engineering, analysis [including stress, load, stability, performance, failure mode and effect], production planning, vendor qualification and selection, ongoing production support, supply chain management, and logistics.

Raytech Corporation started on the project performing preliminary design work based on client specifications. The preliminary design was used to create an animation for client's use in raising funds.

Raytech then performed market research focused on IT professionals. The research results supported the client's perception of marketplace need. Raytech's research also helped to refine the specifications and establish priorities where desired features and specifications appeared to conflict.

Next, Raytech conducted preliminary product costing, and based upon market data and projected volumes, helped the client establish target production costs and pricing.

Raytech's design and engineering team designed the SL500 unit. The design's driving factors included market need, manufacturability, and economics. The design and engineering team considered factors such as ergonomics, safety, usability, environmental context, modes of failure, etc.

The prototype was fabricated by Raytech personnel working closely with client support. The prototype was then taken to data centers for 2nd stage market validation research. The research confirmed the suitability of the design. The changes required for production were minimal, and the client did not require a 2nd prototype prior to commencing production.

Raytech then produced assembly drawings, inspection procedures, documentation, branding, and a complete Request for Quotation package. Raytech then led the client's vendor qualification and selection. The first articles were inspected, serviced by Raytech's design, engineering and quality control personnel performed first article inspection. The units were sold to client's customers. The feedback from the initial sales was positive, and included some suggestions for minor improvement, which were implemented.

Raytech continues to provide engineering support, quality control services, documentation, production management, logistics, marketing materials and development of complementary products.