How did two brothers start one of most successful and innovative Disc Golf
companies in the world?
Brilliance, Gritty Determination and a great Plastic Injection Molding partner.
Two brothers – Brad and Chad Richardson – picked up Disc Golf for recreation as teenagers. Their passion for the emerging sport quickly developed into a desire to elevate the game. Their bold ambition was to invent a disc that would fly longer, straighter and more accurately than any other disc on the market.
Three scientific properties dictate the performance of a disc: aerodynamics, linear momentum and gyroscopic effect. The brothers, armed with a commanding knowledge of these laws of physics, came up with a brilliant but simple hypothesis – transfer as much weight as possible to the outside of the disc. Their belief was that doing so would dramatically increase the moment of inertia (gyroscopic effect) and, thus, increase angular momentum. This, combined with an aerodynamic design at the edge of the disc, would greatly improve distance and accuracy.
That was the theory. But how would they execute it?
Transfer weight to the outside of the disc. How?
Brad and Chad determined that the best approach would be to develop a two-step, plastic over molded disc. The core would be a shot of very light plastic material. The over molded, outer rim would be a much heavier material. But what were the design constraints? What was the right core-to-rim weight ratio? What materials should be utilized? Was this even possible from a manufacturing perspective? It was the classic innovator’s dilemma. There was no precedent.
Enter: Maple Valley Plastics
They needed a highly capable and innovative plastic injection molding partner willing to muscle through an undetermined “trial and error” period. Luckily, Maple Valley Plastics had a 35 year history of bringing innovation-to-industry. They were up for the challenge.
Drawing on Maple Valley’s depth of experience in materials, they narrowed down the options to a manageable trial set. Concurrently, tooling was developed and manufacturing processes were defined. Maple Valley was an integral partner throughout the R&D phase on continual, iterative bases.
From the inception of the R&D effort to the manufacture of the first shippable orders, dozens of trial runs were executed on Maple Valley’s shop floor. Raw determination and a spirit of partnership drove the project to a successful launch.
Ready. Set. Grow!
MVP Disc Sports’s patent-pending GYRO™ overmold technology has taken the Disc Golf industry by storm. Orders went from 8,000 units in the first year to hundreds of thousands in 2015. And there’s no end in sight. MVP is bracing for massive growth in the years ahead. Maple Valley Plastics is rising to the challenge to meet those growth targets. They’ve already invested in state-of-the-art resin feeding and electric press equipment and are looking to automate more of the manufacturing process in the near future.
New innovations are being developed as well. The Richardson brothers have recently introduced a new technology, Fission™ Microbubble. This material innovation greatly reduces the weight of disc’s core to allow for GYRO™ technology implementation at the lower weight disc specs. Another game changing innovation!
MVP Disc Sports is also achieving unprecedented design velocity. With Maple Valley Plastics as their partner, they are launching new products every month!
What’s Your Story?
MVP Disc Sports is a paramount example of what can be realized when innovation meets execution. That’s what Maple Valley Plastics is all about – getting your concept from vision to reality. Whether you have a napkin sketch or a first run prototype, we’ll meet you where you are to get you to where you need to be.
To learn how we can engage you and your team, please click here. (insert web link here).