Zero-Degree® Technology Description

The Zero-Degree® wrench is a new socket handle that uses a reversible roller clutch rather than a pawl and ratchet.  Over-running roller clutches have been in use for many years and bi-directional over-running roller clutches also have been in use for a number of years. Zero-Degree® originally patented the application of the bi-directional over-running roller clutches specifically for driving sprockets and other tools. The more recent patents cover the use of magnets in the collector and selector which replace the ball and spring detents. This creates a smoother and easier to switch tool which had been a drawback from the earlier design.

The design that Zero-Degree® Tools is producing uses a hexagonal inner cam/driver that is integral with the square socket drive. The cam/driver is surrounded by six cylindrical rollers that are, in turn, enclosed by a hardened cylindrical race that is machined into the forged steel handle. The rollers are held into position by a plastic or non-ferrous metal cage that shifts the wrench between forward and reverse. Spring loaded steel balls hold the selector in position and two snap rings retain all of the components in the pocket in the head of the handle. The principal components (cam/driver, rollers, handle pocket) are machined from steel to fairly precise tolerances (typically .002 or .0008 inch total) and hardened.

Objectives

 

Grow the company through a measured and step-wise approach and expand manufacturing in the USA to produce USA made products in addition to imported products from Taiwan.

 

Focus on high end markets such automotive mechanical, military, medical.

 

Mission

To replace the traditional ratchet style socket wrench with Zero-Degree® technology and become the market leader in the professional hand tool market through a combination of licensing agreements and direct manufacture and sales.

Zero-Degree® Tools Company

Zero-Degree® Tools Company (Zero-Degree®) has exclusive rights to production and sales of a patented socket wrench and box-end wrench with a roller-clutch design to replace the current ratchet type mechanism used in all socket wrenches today. This invention is the first significant change to the socket wrench in the last 95 years. The applicable patents to this technology will be in force for the next 20 years which includes global coverage in all important markets. Zero-Degree® has the exclusive rights to sub-license this technology.

The roller-clutch design, described as the Zero-Degree® design, provides the ability to grip anywhere throughout 360 degrees. Zero-Degree® is a registered trademark and represents patented technology that can be applied to these tools categories:

  • Socket wrenches

  • Box-end wrenches

  • Pneumatic wrenches

  • Battery operated wrenches

 

Intellectual Property

Intellectual property covered include both patents and trademark. All key patents have international patents filed in European Union, India, China, and Canada.

Patent

Zero-Degree® Technology is patented under the following patents:

  • U.S. patents:  #6,067,881; #6,276,239; #6,516,688B2; D796,924 S; D797,531 S; D822,448 S; D863,005 S; D529,778; D665,639; D670,984; USD917251S

  • Canadian patent:  #2,307,932

  • Germany, India, China patents have been granted but not yet issued

 

 

Trademark

 

                Zero-Degree® is a registered trademark with significant recognition and value.

 

For Hand Tools, namely Socket Wrenches:

  • US trademark: #3,263,358 for ZERO DEGREE

  • US Trademark: #3,897,178 for 0°

  • US Trademark: # 5,591,197 for TITANIUM TUFF

 

Market Segment

Tools sold by Zero-Degree® are divided into two main categories, tools sold to the home user (Home-User) and tools sold to the high-end professional user (Pro-User). Zero-Degree® Tools, LLC is licensed to sell to any market.

Home-User

The Home-User market consists of tools sold with the intention of appealing to the occasional user of tools, typically the home user. These Home-User tools utilize the patented roller clutch technology that is slightly different and uses plastics in the design. Allied International presently is licensed and manufacturing in this market segment under the Zero-Degree® brand.

Pro-User

The Pro-user tools are designed to last a lifetime, no plastic parts, higher degree of precision in manufacturing, higher quality of materials, and more robust design. These tools are manufactured in Taiwan with the follow-on goal of USA manufacture. Pro-user tools will be serialized with warrantee and production information records retained. These Pro-User tools will be the best and most advanced tools on the market and will be branded and marketed accordingly.

 

Sales Status

Home-User

AWI Acquisition Company doing business as Allied International (“Allied”) is manufacturing Home-user class tools from China using the Zero-Degree Trademark name.  To date Allied has sold 100,000+ units to various customer (Sam’s Club, Tractor Supply, and Miter 10 (hardware chain in Australia). The ¼”, 3/8”, and ½” wrenches are actively being sold and new accounts are being generated.

Pro-User

No present sales. Pro-User tools will be sold and marketed as high-end tools to vendors such as Snap-On and Matco. 600 unit production run of 3/8” wrench has been received from Taiwan supplier and is being used to supply to potential vendors for testing and inspection.

 

Manufacturing Status/Plan

Home-User

Presently, Home-User tools are being manufactured in China principally based upon the agreement with Allied. There is significant turnaround time for new order placed (175+ days) and the accompanying capital or credit tie-up outweigh the minimal to non-existent unit cost savings. Domestic vendors provide US jobs, significantly shorter turnaround (30-45 days) with less capital or credit sidelined during the transaction period.

Pro-User

All Pro-User tools will be ultimately be manufactured in the US although initially in Taiwan.  Factories in Taiwan have delivered samples for evaluation and presentation. Portions of the proceeds from this round of investment will go to establishing the manufacturing process in the USA. Once established, Pro-User production will be migrated to the US production lines for all US sales.

 

Ultimate goal is for this product is to be a “Made in America” brand for all domestic sales, European sales may still be filled by Taiwan suppliers.