Juan Guerrero has the mind of an engineer … analyzing, probing, figuring out a problem in using a well-honed process.
“I do enjoy having projects that interest me,” said Guerrero, a retired electrical engineer with more than 20 years in the maquiladora industry for companies like Zenith and TRW.
One idea that Guerrero latched on to came about when spending time with construction workers and carpenters who were building his daughter’s new home in Donna in recent years. He observed how they found studs in walls during the construction process. Guerrero studied the techniques. He came away from the experience wanting to figure out a way to develop a stud finder. His focus was on the average homeowner and apartment renter.
He began working on a prototypes that included rulers, magnets, levelers and magnetic markers. Guerrero then made a connection with the McAllen Chamber of Commerce and its Idea Place program that helps budding entrepreneurs develop working prototypes and identify customer needs. Working through different models, Guerrero arrived at the EZ Stud Finder. It’s an instrument that resembles a ruler with magnets, a leveler and magnetic markers to mark the spots where studs are found.
“The magnets wiggle,” Guerrero said, “and that’s how you know you have found a stud.”
He has secured a utility patent for his EZ Stud Finder and is working to secure a full patent. The product is available online on Amazon for $9.99. It is also for sale at Johnny’s True Value Hardware stores in the Rio Grande Valley. He acknowledges needing the help of more business-savvy managers to eventually help him get into corporate chain stores.
“I need to continue to work on and improve the product,” said Guerrero, a 2017 McAllen Chamber Innovation Grant winner. “You must improve what you’re doing before someone else comes up with something better than what you’ve got.”