MWDesign 10 SoleTech Dehorner

  • Pou Auaha / Creative Director
    Mike Williams
  • Pou Rautaki / Strategic Lead
    Andrew Aitken
  • Ringatoi Matua / Design Director
    Georgia Fulton
  • Kaituhi Matua / Copywriter Lead
    Katelyn MacDonald
  • Client
    David Sole

A Breakthrough in Veterinary Practice

In the challenging world of veterinary medicine, a group of passionate individuals embarked on a mission to revolutionise the age-old practice of dehorning adult cattle. Aware of the physical demands it placed on veterinarians and the potential risks to animal welfare and farmer safety, they sought to create a game-changing solution. The result of their dedication and innovation was the SoleTech Dehorner.

Dehorning adult cattle is a necessary procedure to prevent puncture wounds, goring, and other hazards. However, the traditional methods used for centuries were time-consuming, physically exhausting, and often stressful for both the animals and the practitioners. The team behind the SoleTech Dehorner recognised the need for a more efficient, humane, and user-friendly approach.

Their journey began with a pivotal moment in veterinary school—a class on dehorning that showcased the shortcomings of conventional methods. Inspired by the desire to improve animal welfare and simplify the procedures for veterinarians, they embarked on a path of conceptualisation and design. Leveraging modern technology and ergonomic principles, they sought to create a tool that would alleviate the challenges faced by practitioners.

The heart of their design lay in harnessing the power of a commonly available electric drill. By developing an attachment that converted rotary movement into an oscillation, they achieved remarkable efficiency in the dehorning process. This breakthrough innovation meant that the same results could be achieved with ease, significantly reducing the physical strain on veterinarians and the stress experienced by the animals.

To ensure user comfort and safety, meticulous attention was paid to ergonomic principles. The dehorner was designed to be intuitive and easy to operate, minimising the risk of mishaps during the procedure. Additionally, the incorporation of bespoke interchangeable wire components not only improved biosecurity but also enabled faster wire changes, saving valuable time. Using vibration isolation theory, soft rubber bushings were developed to reduce the amplitude of vibration at the user's hand by 80%.

Recognising the importance of animal and veterinarian/farmer health and safety, the SoleTech Dehorner reduced the time animals spent under stress, benefiting both the animals and the veterinarians/farmers. By making dehorning physically easier and more efficient, the tool enhanced the overall well-being of cattle, improved handling, reduced the risk of injuries, and mitigated aggressive behaviours. It also aligned with consumer concerns for responsible animal treatment, thereby bolstering New Zealand's competitiveness in international markets.

The SoleTech Dehorner is not just a practical tool; it is a testament to design creativity and innovation. Its aesthetically pleasing form, constructed from CNC-milled aluminium and featuring an anodised finish and a durable pad printed logo, exemplified its heavy-duty nature and high-quality craftsmanship.

In conclusion, the SoleTech Dehorner emerged as a remarkable solution to long-standing challenges in veterinary practice. By revolutionising the dehorning process, it elevated animal welfare standards and significantly improved the experience for both cattle and veterinarians. Through their responsible and socially conscious product design, the team behind the SoleTech Dehorner demonstrated their commitment to advancing the health and safety of animals, veterinarians and farmers alike.