For components for kitting, we also use bins but we use mini-bins on a louvered wall (also called a 'pick rack'). What's nice about these is you can remove and replace the mini bins without disturbing the others. There's a few different types at GI.
You have equipment - you need to power it! This little tip is one that we find so useful, we can't imagine how we did without: being able to turn an entire outlet strip on and off, easily without having to reach behind some machinery on the floor.
For example, if you have a laser cutter and a filter, you need to make sure that the filter is turned on whenever the laser cutter is used. Once in a while, we'd forget to turn on the filter, and 3 minutes later the room would smell of acrylic. Yuk! After trying signs, notes, and beatings we just bought this awesome (but sadly a little expensive) outlet with remote switch (McMaster #69565K21 / Wiremold UL207RSBC) The switch is lightweight and easily mounts anywhere, the actual button itself is lit when the power is on which is a nice extra.
Things we like about this scale (and you should look for in a comparable scale):
- Big clear display - some scales have tiny displays, with confusing indicators. This one is very clear and has a nice little matrix on the side so it can display, for example PCS when counting
- Easy to put into counting mode. This one has a single button (the triangle pile of parts) that puts you into count mode, other scales can be confusing and complex to get into the right mode
- High precision - this scale has 0.01g precision, so you can count items that weigh 0.1 grams or even a little less
- Good capacity - this one goes up to 600 grams, which means its also good for counting heavier items or even boxes (we tare-measure kits/boxes to check that they arent missing anything)
- Battery powered? AC powered? - Battery powered means that you can take it anywhere without cords. AC powered means you're not constantly changing batteries. This guy has the best of both, an internal rechargable lead acid battery, you can run it all week and then recharge it on the weekend. Our last scale had AAA's that it just ate through every week and it was a hassle to keep replacing them
- Computer tether - Its not super important but I really dig the RS232 port on the side - perhaps one day we will have computer assisted inventory control (!)
The only downside to this scale is its not really cheap - at $200 or so, its an investment. However, getting 0.01gram accuracy will always cost at least $100 and I think that the extras of a good capacity, nice display and the internal battery make it a good value.
Be sure to check out the rest of the MyWeigh site for other scales, they have a version in the same form factor but with 1Kg capacity if you need it, etc.
This mini tutorial comes to you thanks to Becky Stern! While Becky was working on her iPhone gloves tutorial, she came over and asked if we had any conductive thread. Luckily, we had a bunch of cone samples of thread and yarn. The good news is we had tons of thread, the bad news is that they were in 1 lb cones and Becky wanted to sell small amounts.
She had previously used a 'card' such as used for embroidery floss, but it takes a long time to wind those by hand and she wanted to get these made quick! Thats when she realized that you can buy a bobbin winding machine and pick up plastic bobbins from any sewing shop.