Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Why the Humble Stillage Is on a Space Mission

So when our customer needed some special equipment making they were very surprised to find that they could only buy what was out there, standard on websites or buy what factories made. Why? Because nobody takes design responsibility for equipment, not even manufacturers in many cases will go that far. Just to polish up that well worn cliche once again... if you think having something made to do the job is expensive, wait until you spend money on something that you think might work and doesn't, or worse still fails and hurts someone. Businesses are full of this type of equipment!!

The end of the Line is not a bad Place to be

Was this 'curtains' for the customer? Well actually very close. This customer makes curtain rail tracks and tracking, so you can imagine that these tracks have to get the curtain materials round some very strange shapes, bay windows for example. These jobs don't come in just ones and two's, the customer has commercial customers such as hotels so when a batch of rails has to be made they need somewhere to place their funny shapes and sizes. These are not just made in plastic and aluminium but also in stainless steel.

They found us on the internet, and we were immediately able to help to build something unique. We produced a bespoke design and a quotation. I am not sure whether they were pleased or relieved, but immediately the design was used to plan the factory layout and in particular the aisle widths and tuning circles, not to mention production volumes. We then went on to prove this tug lift stillage would take any shape they could make by providing a cantilever storage facility with removable arms to instantly adapt to any task, no matter how tricky.

Being part mobile and part trestled, we designed a simple tug bar or jack that will engage and elevate the stillage to relocate it around the work place, but leave it safely locked in place on station to take product. For very long lengths we made an extendable top frame, fully adjustable to take lengths of up to 4m and more.

Adapted from the standard stillage

Pay Day

You don't need to be a genius to work out that a piece of equipment like this needs less space, handles more work and is the only design which will adapt to every business production need. With those credentials it goes without saying that it will pay for itself from day one.

Setting Yourself Apart

The tug truck design is not new, but using it in this way to both store and transport is an interesting adaption which just works well for this application.It is also unique.

Bulls Eye Design

The task started out as mobile cantilever racking, at least that was how it was described to me, so this is quite a departure from an unworkable concept to arriving at something which, by design, is mission specific without breaking the bank.

Zen and the Art of Relationship

By carefully listening to the problem in the first instance, we were able to tease out the central issues which were based on 40 years of problem solving. We went to site to see for ourselves what the customer was trying to achieve. You really can't beat face to face contact to build trust and confidence and understand what another person's business is all about.

The Winning Card

It is not simply about applying designs. This product existed only in our heads. There is nothing else like it on the planet as far as we know. It was not a 'one thing' but more an awakening of ideas which settled out into a build able and functional piece of equipment. You can't do that with a 'Drop Shipping' business. You need factories, machinery and facilities which allow you to turn your hand to any materials handing problem from building solutions to warehousing systems and much more.

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