Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Mixed Nuts

The new equipment rack, Mixed Nuts.
This is an in progress shot, during load testing.
Mixed Nuts was born when we moved into the new building at work. The building had been a light manufacturing plant and had rails to move materials around that had to be taken down and converted into office space.
The rails were on their way to recycling to be sold as scrap. Since my new* TV is sitting on my coffee table while the stand comes together I have had my stereo equipment under that table on the floor. Mixed Nuts will accompany the new TV stand, and draws on the same design elements, if not materials.
Mike Malec helped me refine the germ of an idea, and a local metal shop milled the X config slots. Doug and I tapped the holes and discovered the reason the rack is called Mixed Nuts: Excess Inventory Control.
Just In Time ordering is a concept for manufacturing that has bled through to retail. Even shoestores--which used to carry many styles in all sizes--are now just what you see. This rack required 28 of the same bolts.
Neither the big box Home Depot or the smaller independent carried that much inventory. I know what you are thinking: 28 bolts will fit in the palm of your hand and cost a couple dollars. Well, there it is, like missing a paycheck loses your house the no margin for error stock levels grinds the system to a halt.
Or you use Mixed Nuts.

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