The following projects were for industrial applications.
Paint Carts – “Eliminating 3 handling operations and increasing throughput 98%”
Painting was becoming a choke point in the operation. Parts would be hung on a cart or set on a table then moved to the side to dry. The problem was the processes required too many handing operations. After testing, products needed to drip dry, then be lifted onto the painting table or cart, they then had to be removed from the paint area and placed in a drying zone. Lastly, they needed to be picked up and carried to shipping. This was 3 extra handling operations. The purpose was to increase painting output. Budgets were tight so another innovative solution was needed. A moving overhead assembly was out, as was a larger paint booth due to expense and space. A new style of paint cart solved all the problems. It eliminated 3 handling operations and allowed a 98% increase in output! The best part was that I was able to complete the entire process myself. I got to use my creativity to design the solution, and then I actually built the solution. I love being involved in the entire process. I do not like starting something then handing it off to someone else for finishing. As a result of this philosophy, I have learned to use all commonly available machines. If not, I’ll just learn really fast. Above: 12 movable hooks on each row, drainable drip trays below, and they nest for storage
Paint Booth Lighting – “Low Cost and 40% improvement”
Paint constantly needed to be retouched. Even with the new carts. Are the painters really that bad? Probably not. It was later discovered that bad lighting was the cause. Due to budget and space constraints, another innovative solution was required. The light needed to come from all sides, not be obtrusive, and move out of the way when needed. A simple articulated arm was devised to solve the problem. It was secured to the side of the paint booth with screws and screwed into the back of a 4’ 2-bulb fluorescent light. Installed cost for this fix was about $600 and it reduced reworks by 40%! I don’t have a picture of the lights, but I figure a rendering will suffice.
Not shown is the flexible conduit that powers the lights. It was run down the middle of the tube to keep it out of the way. These mounts proved very robust. They have a reach of 3’6″ and were able to support my weight at the end of the tube for a factor of safety of about 6! The light used was $69 from Lowes. It is a vapor resistant and very sturdy.
Everything ran on air. The system leaked pretty bad and got a lot of use, so the compressor ran often. It was very loud and made the shop slightly unpleasant. The solution was to move it outside. I built a small shed between the side of the building and a storage container. There is plenty of space for storage or a second compressor if needed. (Left)
Machine Shop Wall
The machining area needed to be isolated for noise and cleanliness reasons, so a large movable wall was built to separate the space.
Products needed to be setup for machining. The problem was an unnecessary and potentially back straining handling operation. The solution was simple. Cut the legs off the bottom of the prep bench to match the machine height and build a corner table to just slide the parts from bench to machine.
I ended up doing around 40 efficiency and improvement projects for this company. It was great to do something different all the time and have the freedom to do as I wished.
Please e-mail me with some ideas for things you’d like done. I’d love to help.