Here at Draper, we often tell folks that our business philosophy is a simple one—to make a quality product and sell it at a reasonable price.

The quality part of that philosophy is very important to us. We have an entire department dedicated to ensuring our products are high quality, but it is also something in which every employee participates. The durability of our products is something in which we all take pride.

One example of our efforts involves our projector lifts. A couple of our lifts are UL-certified, and in order to get UL certification, our Lifts Product Manager Amy Madden says we test them to 10,000 cycles. Assuming the lifts are raised and lowered twice a day, seven days a week, the lift life span would be 28.5 years!  More realistically the lifts will be used five days a week, perhaps raised and lowered twice a day. If our math is right, then our lifts will last more than 40 years!

Draper's Diplomat tripod screen.

Draper’s Diplomat tripod screen.

Although nobody’s perfect, from time to time, we get a nice reminder of our employees’ dedication to quality. Recently, for instance, we had a call come in about ordering a replacement motor for a Rolleramic screen … installed in 1991.

Another example came just a few days ago, in the form of an email from a customer who needed a replacement part for a Diplomat tripod screen:

“In the quest for parts I had to trawl back to see who supplied us in the first place, I couldn’t find out because our records don’t go back that far, I have managed to work out that I bought it in 1994/1995. It is/has been used for a diverse range of uses, Corporate Race Night, F1 Simulator projection, Indoor Laser Clay Pigeon Shooting and as a Wii Games Console Screen.

Since buying it I conservatively estimate that the Diplomat has been used on at least 1,200 occasions throughout both the UK and Europe, delivered and collected in vans and cars by various members of staff who are not always as careful as I would like them to be.

It remains in incredibly good condition and I cannot think of another piece of equipment that we own that has demonstrated such longevity.  If it fell apart tomorrow I couldn’t complain but I would because I would miss it, it was a bit of a stretch to buy it back in the 20th Century but it is still there as good as new, something to be proud of, I wish all of our equipment had proved as robust and dependable as the Diplomat.”

By the way—the replacement part needed after more than 20 years of use? A plastic footer endcap for one of the tripod legs.

Do you have any stories about the durability of Draper products? Maybe you came across an old V Screen still being used in a classroom, or a window shade that’s been pulled down thousands of times over the decades. Share your stories with us in the comments section; we’d love to hear from you!

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