Voltas scores for 'best innovation'
Voltas has filed to patent the technology, which has wide applications far beyond the Freezer-on-Wheels. The patent status may well have tilted the scales in favour of Voltas during the jury's deliberations at the North Regional Forum.
Breakthrough 'freezer-on-wheels' has applications far beyond ice-cream vending
Who are the front-runners in innovation within the Tata Group, to which Voltas so proudly belongs? That was answered at the Innovation Day event held in New Delhi in early June 2008, under the aegis of Tata North Regional Forum. An entry from Voltas was adjudged the 'best innovation', sharing that limelight with one entry each from Tata Tea and North Delhi Power Limited. This was achieved in the face of formidable competition from heavyweights such as Tata Motors, Indian Hotels, Tata Consultancy Services and Tata Teleservices.
The Voltas product innovation, developed at its Pantnagar plant, is a breakthrough improvement in the familiar Freezer-on-Wheels which keeps ice cream frozen while being trundled through the streets by vendors.
The eureka moment occurred following a gap analysis between existing product offerings on the one hand, and the requirements of ice-cream manufacturers, distributors and vendors on the other. This process helped define the problem and opportunity, and the parameters of the solution. While validating the solution in the lab, technical challenges were encountered and overcome sequentially by means of innovative adaptations; the final outcome was then validated in field trials.
The freezer thus developed is longer-lasting than the existing product due to the elimination of corrosion rampant in other brands available in the market; it is more economical, lighter in weight and easier to pedal, and keeps ice cream frozen longer when disconnected from the power source while in use on the streets.