Providing a better solution
SportGuard is the result of completely re-thinking how a bedliner could be improved to look, feel and function better than anything currently on the market.
Materials: Traditionally bedliners were made primarily from a high density polyethylene (HDPE) material. HDPE is super tough and durable, but is also very rigid and slippery. By applying the re-think process, PRO-FORM developed their own version of thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) which is a blend of elastomer and polyethylene plastic to give it enough rubberised qualities to create a non-skid floor and allows it to fold, while the plastic gives it the strength to withstand harsh blows you'd expect in the back of a ute. This innovative TPE floor is what is used in the SportGuard floor, while the SportGuard sides use the traditional HDPE material.
Logistics: Previously storing and freighting single or small units of bedliners was a near impossible task. There was no way to efficiently store and send a bedliner, unless you are willing to chop it into pieces.... Which is exactly what PRO-FORM did with SportGuard. This allows the liner to be reduced from taking up a 1.7m3 carton to 1/5th of the size at 0.34m3. This is allowing significant benefits to distributors using SportGuard all around the world.
End-User Benefits: SportGuards non-skid floor means ute owners no longer have to deal with the frustration of hearing your tools and cargo sliding around the back of the ute tub at every corner or stop light. PRO-FORM also seen the new product as a chance to improve the aesthetics of the liner too, adding a polished aluminium tag and improving the look with a tighter fit than before.
Moulding plastic into beautiful products
Extrusion: All plastic used in the SportGuard is first extruded into sheet in-house using PRO-FORM's large part extrusion machines.
Vacuum Forming: As the SportGuard is made from two different sheets, the product is vacuum formed in two different cycles. One cycle for the TPE non-skid floor and the other for the HDPE sides. PRO-FORM have a very large vacuum forming capacity and capabilities.
Automation: to efficiently trim the HDPE walls into separate parts PRO-FORM employs the use of robotic trimming which is highly accurate and efficient. The tailgate piece is trimmed using a precision CNC router.
Markets: SportGuard's powerful list of benefits are seeing it re-shape the bedliner market throughout the world.
Use what's left and start over
As the materials used in a SportGuard come from non-renewable materials it is important for PRO-FORM that the product can be fully recyclable at its end of life. Both Materials in the SportGuard can be fully recycled. PRO-FORM also practices lean manufacturing during its SportGuard manufacturing, in which 99% of waste during production gets re-extruded back into our plastic extrusion lines to make more liners.
The process of improving SportGuard doesn't end here. PRO-FORM are firm believers that there is always a chance to improve on the current iteration, recycling the ideas from the current model and feeding it back into the re-think process. Because of this, you can always rely on a new and improved model to be around the corner. Watch this space.
The result of SportGuard into the market is seeing a massive shift from bedliner sales to the more innovative SportGuard. Over the last five years PRO-FORM has also seen SportGuard sales being only 1% of total liner sales to today where it is now over 30% of total sales.
SportGuard is also seeing itself wining contracts with OEM companies globally including sales to Volkswagen Australia, Nissan Australia and Nissan New Zealand.