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The Guardian Fall Team Blog

Have you ever wondered how a Guardian product is born? The story of our new Diablo SRL is a perfect representation of the team effort required to bring a product from the idea stage through development, testing, and its ultimate release.

In 2012, Guardian noticed a need in the marketplace for a lightweight, durable, and ultra-portable SRL. And so we got to work on our Diablo SRL (originally called the Ditto Block SRL): plans were drawn up; samples were made; and testing commenced.

The unit design contained an integral shock pack, and it functioned very well in respect to meeting the ANSI Z359.14-12 maximum and average arrest force requirements. However, total deployment distance, while still well within ANSI regulations, made us want to do better. Our goal with the Diablo was to develop a Class A retractable. As defined by the .14 standard, Class A SRLs limit total deployment distance to 24”, and average arrest forces to 1,350 lbs.

The internal mechanism of the Diablo was designed to be very straightforward in order to reduce weight, as well as the final unit cost, so we knew that to achieve our goal of meeting the Class A designation we would need to focus first on the performance of the shock pack. Several designs of webbing and stitching were tried, until we found a configuration that worked just how we wanted.

But even then we wanted more, and so in addition to improving the shock pack performance, changes were also made to internal components to improve braking and web retracting performance and reliability. The internal frame was redesigned to allow for a more positive engagement of the brake pawls, and the power spring was improved to allow for smoother operation of rebar hook models.

Testing of the Diablo’s new design commenced in May 2013, and it passed all Class A requirements with flying colors. During testing, the highest average arrest force recorded was 785 lbs., and the greatest deployment distance recorded was 18”, both well under the respective 1,350 lb. and 24” requirements.

The product name was officially changed from the Ditto Block to the Diablo in September 2013, and final preparations for the product release went into full effect.

The Diablo was fully released to the market at the end of 2013. All of us at Guardian worked tirelessly to produce a product we would be proud of, which is why we are so confident in saying that the Diablo SRL is truly the best Class A SRL available.