The young company FlowStop from Perpignan closes a euphoric month of May in the extension of the coronation at the Lépine competition of the Paris show and its media coverage so important to impose on the market such an innovative product. FlowStop received the Prime Minister's Grand Prize, the second highest level of awards set up by this venerable institution.
"We are coming out of two days of meetings with the leaders of Covea in Niort (bringing together Maaf, MMA, GMF, European leader with 11.7 million members). The managers of this important insurance group are very interested in our product. They see it as an interesting solution to protect facilities and thus not compensate them in the event of a flood disaster. The exchanges were very dynamic," says Olivier Guillou, founder of FlowStop.
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But before thisrecognition, it took three long years of testing and adjustment to finally achieve the desired result: providing a flawless or leak-free obstacle to the turbulent waters of flooding at the entrance of a building. The inflatable cofferdam process is directly inspired by the pneumatic paddle whose shape and beautiful resistance and even rigidity, once inflated, are known.
500 copies already sold
"For months, we tested the successive versions of our water barrier before finding the right formula, that of the two stacked airbags that rely in maximum pressure on the walls of the opening to be protected. We used the irrigation basin of a nearby market gardener to test the prototypes designed and prefigured in 3 dimensions by the IMFT laboratory in Toulouse. Our bi-cushion is able to cope with a wave that advances at the speed of 7 meters-second, "argues Olivier Guillou, the creator of flowStop of which 500 copies have already been sold, especially in France to protect the ground floors of private or public premises.
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"This is the way to protect, for example, the technical rooms of swimming pools in campsites and the electric motors located there. But we also equip museums, bars, restaurants or houses directly threatened by recurrent floods," continues Olivier Guillou, who estimates the number of his potential customers at 17 million.
To professionals, FlowStop, full of patent protection, even offers a rental system. The famous bi-cushion is currently manufactured in Tunisia in an inflatable paddle factory. But Olivier Guillou does not despair, one day, to succeed in industrializing his anti-flood barrier in France. This is FlowStop's next challenge.