The deck of an Ohio-class nuclear missile submarine is one of the most unforgiving environments for materials imaginable. Temperatures can range from -20°F to 120°F, pressures change from 150 PSI to 15 PSI in seconds, all while immersed in salt water.
Under each of those missile hatches is a seal that prevents water from slipping between the missile launch tube made by Grumman (think bullet casing for Lockheed missiles) and the submarine it's housed in. These seals take serious abuse and need to be replaced after a few years. Unfortunately the material is exceptionally hard to remove and maintenance crews complained about the lousy tools they had for the tough job.
I was asked to create a new hand tool that was more comfortable to use, accommodated the awkward working environment of the missile deck, ergonomic and comfortable to use, and would be effective against a range of materials being tested for improving seal.
Over 50 possible mechanisms and tool configurations were proposed, from which a few prototypes were released for field testing. The sailors who received them were so taken with the improvements over the existing tools that Navy maintenance protocols were immediately changed to utilize the new design. Full production began shortly thereafter.