I saw this remarkably borked road sign and got mildly curious for the nth time in my life about the process by which road signs get made, start to finish. What's the modern Big Green Road Sign production process, how has it changed over the years, and what, exactly, is the likeliest explanation for this particular fuckup? [more inside]
I am trying to find organized groups of lean manufacturing practitioners in the Chicago Illinois area for benchmarking and best practice sharing. Any suggestions?
I have an idea for a pretty simple consumer product (no electronic components or the like) that I'd like to design, manufacture, and sell (probably on amazon?) What's the best way to do this? [more inside]
I remember there being a manufacturing process accident (I think pharmaceutical) where the temperature of the reactor was out of specification and then the product had the wrong properties. This accident happened a long time ago and in my mind had a role in helping shape GMP. [more inside]
I am writing a business plan to start a beverage factory in Thailand, and would like some advice on how I can protect my IP (recipe and methodology). [more inside]
DVD authoring question: How do I fix the error “Volume Descriptor Sequences are not equivalent”? [more inside]
Basically I'm looking for whoever the engineer or engineering company would be that creates some kind of specific tool for a one off specific job. Like the Space Needle is built and finished and then, out of nowhere, you need to change a nut and bolt out that was never supposed to be changed. And to do it you need a 40 foot, weirdly angled wrench. Who would build that? And is there a name for the kind of field or specialty this is?
What is this intriguing device I noticed at a friend's house? Friend has no idea. It's about 6 inches in length. It was patented by Holland Mfg of Willamantic, CT, and a Google search suggests it might have something to do with 19th century silk manufacturing. Ideas?
There are a ton of printed circuit board assembly companies in Asia. How do I choose one? [more inside]
What does a QC/QA position entail? I'm thinking more of science or manufacturing, and not financial/tax. [more inside]
Hello all I'm thinking about starting an import business specialising in very high quality and hard to find products, particularly tools and machinery. I'm having trouble finding good quality online directories that list manufacturers like Alibaba that target Europe. Does anybody have any advice on finding products in Europe? Thank you kindly
I am beginning the manufacture of small stainless steel parts that I hope to sell. They are back from the machine shop with an oil or lubricant and grit that needs to be completely cleaned off prior to adding an injection molded santoprene (thermoplastic elastomer) part. I have an ultrasonic cleaner available - how do I get them clean before and after the injection molding?
Can anyone offer opinions on reputable offset printers for CD inserts in short-run or micro-run quantities (50-100 copies)? [more inside]
I am having issues with our overseas electronics contract manufacturer. I would like to collect proposals for domestic manufacturing, but I'm not sure where to start. At this stage, I am most concerned about assembled PCB costs. We have a critical semiconductor component that our overseas CM has sourced at well under 50% of what I can find that component at, and it's making other proposals difficult. This is for a product that will sell in the $25-$30 range, and we expect an initial order quantity of 20-50k units. I could just cold email manufacturers, but is there a better way?
I would like to manufacture a table with these legs, but with a wood desk top. Where would I go to do such a thing? Most "prototype" manufacturers are for metal products, etc.
I am looking for a new clothing supplier. The previous company I shopped with have been outed as a bunch of labour-abusing dirtbags and I can't have that. I need to know the names of some places I can buy clothes with confidence and conscience and was hoping maybe I could get some suggestions. [more inside]
I want to research the possibility of having a certain design of handbag made, in quantity, to sell. It's a large version of a tiny handbag I see in a number of stores. What's the way to start on this path? [more inside]
I will begin a course in CNC programming/operating in 2 months time. I want to be as prepared as possible going into it, make the most of the education while I'm learning and have realistic expectations about employment upon completion. What should I know before I start, focus on during school, and what do you know about jobs available for someone with these skills? [more inside]
I understand and grudgingly accept that buying products made in China often involves supporting a system that treats workers badly and pays them poorly. But I also have believed that at least the workers are employed by choice, and that they deem work conditions they've opted for in some way superior to the alternatives. Today I learned that "Made in China" can also mean "made by the slave labor of religious dissidents." How can I exist as a consumer in this global economy without perpetuating and contributing to this system? Is there any ethical way to buy Chinese imports, or do I risk endorsing inhumanity every time? [more inside]
For years I've noticed a weird smell when driving south on I-5 in Seattle, just south of the West Seattle Bridge. It's precisely the smell I've always associated with worn brake pads– since there are a number of small manufacturing businesses along that stretch, I've just assumed one of them was making something stinky. Well, now I live on Beacon Hill a few hundred yards from that spot, and we smell it ALL THE TIME. What is that smell, and could it be a health issue? Thanks!
And where can I read more about the economics of the cheap labour industry? [more inside]
I'm looking for a manufacturer (preferably in the Northeast United States) who can make a simple, but large wood photo frame, about 3'X3' using lightweight plexiglass or acrylic instead of glass. [more inside]
Will the phrase "Made in China" eventually overcome its stigma as "Made in Japan" once did? [more inside]
I think the EnergyStar program could do more good, and may actually be doing harm in its current form. In what ways could I try to impact it? [more inside]
I'm interested in watching more documentaries or miniseries about the fashion/clothing industry. Three I've rented recently were Valentino:The Last Emperor, The September Issue, and Signé Chanel. I especially enjoyed the last two as they really showed a lot behind the scenes about how stuff is made (both the media and the couture dressmaking sides). [more inside]
I am making a prototype of a consumer electronic device, the final product will be housed in plastic. I want to get a case made for the prototype that will resemble the final product. The case design is nothing complicated, essentially a rectangular box with some rounded corners and some holes for buttons, etc. I have designed the look of the outside of the case in adobe illustrator (top, bottom, front, rear and side views). The case will have a top shell and a bottom shell that fit together. What is the best way to go about getting maybe 2 cases made for prototypes? I am thinking either cnc or 3d printing, but I don't know what the best route to making a 3d model is from adobe illustrator or anything...
How do I sound like a wholesaler in email to make inquiries from an overseas company? I'm doing a bit of amateur investigative journalism and need some pointers. [more inside]
How can I train myself to have an appreciation and eye for the quality of higher-end clothing and accessories?
How do I judge the quality of luxury clothing and accessories? [more inside]
I'm looking to produce a very limited-edition chipboard CD box set of about 100 numbered copies. I don't need Megalodon's minimum of 500. Does anyone else produce these boxes? How about obtaining blanks?
Can anyone recommend resources, companies or strategies for finding suitable US furniture manufacturers for a line of new designs? [more inside]
Looking for advice on purchasing a CNC machine. I know there are a lot of crafty people on here and thought this might be a good place to ask. [more inside]
In all the talk about fast fashion and sweatshop labour, it's often been said that sequins can only be attached by hand, therefore someone needs to physically sew them onto a garment. But what about crochet? [more inside]
New to manufacturing. How do I go from making things to having something made? [more inside]
Where can I have produced my own brand of custom-wrapped individual rolls of toilet paper? [more inside]
This thing is giving off an awful odor and I have no idea what's causing it. [more inside]
I'd like to make some kitchen tools, but I have no idea how to get started. [more inside]
Where can I find something to help me count products I'm shipping? [more inside]
What are examples of big-name brands who separately manufacture cheaper/shoddier lines and put their labels onto them? [more inside]
How can united states manufacturing be made better? [more inside]
I'm advising a team which has created a clever interactive teaching item for a specific type of healthcare scenario. It has been received well in initial testing of the working prototype, and the team would like to pursue further development. They need to begin to involve others in exploring refinement and manufacturing, and are trying to determine how to protect their interests. But NDA (non-disclosure agreements) are rarely accepted nowadays. Need to consider alternative strategies... [more inside]
I'd like to learn a lot more about shipping things. For instance, manufactured goods from China to the US. What is the process? How is the freight billed? How do you take possession of the goods once they arrive? Who insures the freight being shipped? Is there a good reference for this kind of thing that doesn't pre-suppose familiarity?
What goes on during the smartphone assembly process? A lot of it is opaque. Does anyone have insight about what happens from the time the phone's components enter the factory until the time it leaves in end-user packaging? [more inside]
I have a a couple questions about your experience with freight forwarders. In particular, shipping containers via ocean from China. [more inside]
How can my Hong Konger friend find some money/investors for his rapidly growing fabric company as soon as possible in China? [more inside]
What are the science-fictioniest manufacturing locations in the world? [more inside]
Can anyone recommend contract sewing services in the United States to manufacture iPad/iPad 2 sleeves? [more inside]
Are diet shakes packaged in cans made of significantly heavier-gauge metal than carbonated beverages? If so, why? [more inside]
Has anyone here recently had 1000-5000 actual CDs manufactured, silkscreened, DigiPak'd and shrinkwrapped? Can you share your experiences with me, and make any recommendations? [more inside]
Can anyone recommend good texts for a new engineer to study while searching for work? [more inside]
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