Glass Act and the Butler
The Butler Mug holding design is based on two principals;
stability and ease of use. These can be conflicting
elements to a designer. Easy to use systems tend to
lose the container in rough conditions, while stable systems
tend to make the container hard to remove for use.
The best blend possible for these two elements is a bottomless
compression ring system that is sized to accommodate a particular
size tapered mug. With the use of a compression ring,
gravity and impulse forces, caused by rough conditions,
actually work together to stabilize the system. And,
when compressed by the ring, the tapered mug still easy
to lift out for use.
Michael Vine, the inventor of the Butler system, is a mechanical
engineer who spent many years in the sub-sea engineering
field where fluid mechanical applications are the discipline.
Being a life-long motorcyclist with a desire to perfect
mechanical applications, the development of the Butler system
came as a natural extension of his profession. As
president and CEO of R&M Technologies, Inc. (the owner of
Glass Act, manufacturer of the Butler) Mr. Vine claims that
the best thing about the Butler is the number of people
that insist that the system has been a lifesaver for them.
Mr. Vine insists that 100% customer satisfaction is a primary
key to a successful small business and Glass Act is a prime
Mike and Rita Vine
The Butler is truly a US product. The copolymer bracketing
is made in Alvin, Texas. The mugs are made in Dallas,
Texas. And our processing plant is in Lampasas, Texas.
Our processing plant not only distributes all Butler products
world-wide, but also contains the machining equipment required
to machine all chrome parts. Chroming
is done in Austin, Texas while polishing is done in Ft.
We have spent a large portion of the
last ten years traveling around the country in our Kingsley
Coach visiting customers, dealers, and attending many of
the popular shows in the motorcycle industry. Since
the Butler system is now designed for all industries, the
growth of the program is preventing us from spending as
much time on the road. Although we plan to continue
to “be out there” as much as we can in future years, far
more of our time is now dedicated to “in house” quality
control, machining, representatives and dealers.
The History of the Butler
The development of the Butler began in 1992 when I (Mr.
Vine) was on a motorcycle ride in New Mexico. The
average afternoon temperature was around 100 degrees.
I had a water bottle in a drink holder. It was a type
that is seen commonly in the motorcycle industry.
It was the best available, and it did not work. At
least it did not work for me. What I wanted was a
substantial amount of fluid that would stay cold with ice,
and in a container that was stable and useable. During
that ride, I decided to do something out it. Once
home and back in the shop, I began looking at the problem
as if I were hired as an engineer to develop a solution.
This decision led to the standard reduction of the problem
down to its most precise design requirements. As I
saw them, they were:
- Strength – The system had to be constructed
in such way, and of such material that breaking a part
would not be a problem to the user.
- Applicability – The system had to be designed
in such way as to accommodate mounting on all types
of vehicles where the same desire to have a useable
cold fluid would be inherent with the operator.
- Safety – Use of the devise must not interfere
with the safe operation of the vehicle.
- Stability – The container must stay stable
in the holder during the often times rough conditions
encountered on motorcycles and other power sports and
- Ease of Use – The container must be able
to retract from its holder in the easiest way possible
in order to be safely used while operating the vehicle.
- Insulation – The container must be able to
keep cold liquid cold or hot liquid hot for a long enough
period of time to at least get from fuel stop to fuel
stop on a motorcycle, under any outside temperature
I could not see that “drink holders” had ever been designed
incorporating all of these design criteria. All were
inexpensive devices that one might use in a car or boat.
Basically, just a place to set a can of pop. Thus
began the development of the Butler. After many prototypes
and years of patent costs, the design that emerged was the
Butler, which is now enjoyed by many thousands of people
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