Interest in device
Plumber’s time-saving clamp draws industry attention
Ross Dickinson: ‘great to be working with big names’
A range of pipe repair clamps developed by a Scottish plumber turned inventor has attracted the attention of global energy companies.
Ross Dickinson’s Galashiels-based firm The Kibosh has patented the clamps that can mend damaged pipes within seconds, therefore minimising any operational down-time until a permanent repair can be made.
He already sells thousands to the domestic market and now there is growing interest from big firms in the oil and gas, energy, and industrial sectors such as Total, Harbour Energy, CNOOC International, and Hydratight.
The clamps are entering the final phase of research and development, with field trials due to take place in the North Sea over the next 18 months. This project will be supported by University of Strathclyde’s Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC), part of the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland.
He has also attracted undisclosed funding from the Oil and Gas Technology Centre in Aberdeen. This support, alongside that of its existing investors, will fund pre-field trial testing and certification by BSI, the leading global product standards assessor, and qualification of its industrial product range by Lloyds Register.
Mr Dickinson, a self-employed plumber based in the Scottish Borders, left school aged 16 with no qualifications and was later diagnosed with dyslexia.
He created Kibosh’s signature pipe repair technology to provide a quick, but highly effective and robust, fix for damaged or leaking domestic water pipes.
The clamps have gained an international customer base in the professional plumbing, trades and DIY sectors over the last few years. In February Kibosh supplied several thousand clamps to major American DIY retailers Home Depot and Lowe’s Home Improvement to assist home owners hit by burst pipes during a deep freeze.
Kibosh has sold more than 100,000 domestic clamps so far, with a growing trade customer base and an estimated market potential of £200m in the retail sector alone.
Mr Dickinson said: “It’s been excruciatingly difficult to get to this point, but it’s great now to be working with some of the biggest names in the energy sector to develop Kibosh products for a range of industrial settings.
“I knew pretty early in the process that if we could make the clamps effective for domestic use, we had a really good chance of applying the same basic solution in large-scale engineering and manufacturing environments.”
In September 2019, Dickinson secured private equity funding from Edinburgh-based investment syndicate Par Equity, and the Scottish Investment Bank.
He appointed a small team to help him grow the business, including chairman Keith Gibson, non-executive investment director Audrey Orhorn, and former Procter & Gamble executive Andy Peterson, who joined Kibosh as chief executive in July 2020.
Mr Peterson said: “Kibosh is already a real Scottish success story, but it is also one that I believe is only just beginning and has immense potential.
“Ross has had to sacrifice so much and overcome a great many obstacles to get to where we are today and the success to date is testament to his creativity, determination, and perseverance. “