Merlin Vet | Re-engineering Agri-tech

Who are Merlin Vet?

Merlin Vet are a veterinary wholesaler who supply a range of veterinary medicines and equipment to vets in the UK and worldwide. They have a wealth of veterinary experience and a keen interest in the latest veterinary innovations.

Note: no explicit images are in this case study

The Business Need

Merlin Vet spotted an opportunity to redesign an electro-ejaculator probe designed for rams. The existing handheld device had not changed much in the past 30 years and has inherent flaws.

They approached 4c for a full end-to-end service to redesign the unit that required carrying out electronic engineering and improve the ergonomics and manufacturing process for ease of use and vastly increase reliability in the field.

Our Activities and Deliverables

We started by building a strategy to help de-risk and set budgets for development and production based on scale of the market and the volumes they felt comfortable selling over 5 years. With the numbers aligning with their ambition, we then got stuck into the project.


After reviewing what had been, we revised the entire unit, moving to rechargables and improving the battery management of the system to get more uses per charge whilst maintaining ‘performance’.


After carrying out an ergonomic study of the device in use, we sculpted a form that could not only house the electronics but vastly improved ergonomics.


There were several rounds of prototypes carried out on this project to de-risk direction. With a handful built and tested to success, we then scaled up to prototype tooling and produced 25-off units for demonstrating with end customers – managing the tooling, sourcing and assembly of the supply.

The Result

Feedback from vets has been positive following the sale of the initial batch. This provided the team at Merlin vet the confidence to progress with additional modifications and cost engineering processes as they scale up their batches.

Capabilities Utilised

  • Industrial design
  • Electronics design
  • Prototyping
  • Batch production
  • Design for manufacture
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