Use of appropriate technology.
March 11, 2023Shipping, fulfillment, and technology
As I sit at my desk in the workshop closing out the day, I reflect on the amazing feat that is about to start shipping and the processes we have put in place to get here. I certainly wish that the technology had closed the gap last week between our fulfillment / shipping platform and the carriers. We have special rates in place due to the density and value of our products. I have to get the correct rates to apply to our shipping account. I will not muddle around with the details, but suffice it to say, when we have closed out one issue, it seems like another has appeared at the next step. However, it does appear that we have that one more hurdle to clear and we will be off to the races. As I look around our humble shop in a warehouse in the back of another business, I cherish the long hard days and am thankful to have built many fixtures to help us perform our tasks in an efficient manner. I have made much use of the down time awaiting each technology obstacle to be cleared by service providers. As my children have grown up, and as I have trained technicians in our appliance repair business, it has been important to teach safe work practices and how to select the correct tool. Just because a tool will work, does not mean that it will work well. Choose the right tool. Unlike the foundry, I only have to finish grind a select handful of pieces. I do not have to have an elaborate grinding workshop to accomplish what we need. Choosing the right tool to me also means choosing only as much technology as you need to get the job done. Our grinding station consists on one Grizzly knife grinder which is outfitted with a 72 inch belt on the right and an 8 inch diamond coated grinding wheel on the left. Why a diamond grinding wheel? Isn't that expensive? Yes, the grinding wheel costs well over $100, compared to a stone wheel which costs $15- $20. But that diamond wheel lasts a long time. It also removes material faster, and does not wear in a distorted manner. I have ground close to a thousand pieces with it now, and it still grinds as good as it did on the first pass. After I started using it, I wanted to order a few more as back ups for our process. I spoke with the distributor. They were truly puzzled that I was grinding iron castings. "Sir, these diamond plated grinding wheel must be used wet, and they are specifically to be used for gem stones." I was truly off the reservation. But it works Great for my purposes. It is higher technology in a material sense, but it is simply technology and is applied to my specific purpose very well. Why am I rambling on about this? No particular reason, I just thought you might be interested in how I approach things. Using the correct technology, but only as much as you need, can produce a wonderful product, process, or service. I truly think the quality and uniqueness of our pieces will shine through in the coming years. When you receive your Great American Waffle Iron, I hope that its crispness of details and smoothness gets you excited about things to come; it does me.