Instructables

Small scale home production

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This instructable is more of a guide and an inspirational on how to run small scale home production on PVC pipe instruments and just about anything in general, hence the more of a guide.
So I won't be going into specifics about sizes, dimensions, and such this is already covered
in my shackuhachi instructable. http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-make-a-Shakuhachi/

WARNING!!!!
DO NOT CUT OLD PVC ON ANY KIND OF CIRCULAR SAW, IT WILL SHATTER AND HURT YOU. THE OLDER PVC GETS THE MORE BRITTLE IT GETS AND IS PRONE TO SHATTERING. (don't ask me how I know)

Things to keep in mind about producing.

TIME:
What ever you can do to reduce the time you spend doing something is better.
Such as making jigs, or if you can automate a procedure. If you can automate you can set it and go on to do other things that can't be automated, effectively doubling your man power.


Cost:
Try to reduce cost. You can do this by; reducing the time on a particular procedure by making jigs and automating. IE producing more using the same amount of time. Using less material or making more efficient use of the material you have IE generating less waste.

Checking your production system:
Run one unit all the way through first. You want to do this to ensure you have your process and production system down. You don't want to get to the end of your first run and find that they are all ruined because you missed something.

Do one thing at a time a number of times:
Do each procedure of the process one at a time, IE cut fipple's and do nothing else until you are done with all the pipes. Not even removing flashing or anything of the sort. If you miss one unit and have gone on to the next step in production, leave it! don't go back and do it, it's wasting time. Leave it for the next run.

Quality control:
You are your own quality control.
You should be inspecting at the beginning middle and end of every step of the process.
The purpose of quality control in not just to ensure good workmanship but adjust and or improve the process if quality is not being met.

PLAN PLAN PLAN!
Even though it's the last section in this intro it's the first and last thing to do.
Make sure you have a plan before going into action. Plan out your raw materials, cost, time for a production run, cost per unit. This includes raw materials, man power, overhead, tool cost, electricity...ect. Keep in mind even though you may already have drill press, drill bits, sandpaper ect.. they will need maintenance, sharpening, and replacing. You may not see it
on the front end but you will see it on the back end sooner or later. So factor that in.
Once your done with your first production run take a good look at your process and look for improvements.
How can you work more efficiently but not necessarily faster, sometimes trying to hurry will cause waste, poor workmanship or worse injury. Work smarter not harder.
Look to see where can you eliminate waste, recycle and reuse. It's not just good for the environment it's good for your wallet! If you make efficient uses of your resources you will conserve them and not have to purchase as much for the next run, in turn saving you money.
And lastly what improvements can you make to the product. Look for ways to make your product(s) better or more attractive to potential customers. Set your self apart from the compition.

 
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heathbar642 years ago
Now, if I could only think of something to make that would actually sell!
jdege3 years ago
Plumbing-grade PVC is intended to be used as plumbing - installed inside walls and cabinets - and lacks any kind of ultra-violet protection. Because of this, it can get very brittle if exposed to sunlight for any length of time.

There is another furniture-grade PVC that is intended to be used for outdoor furniture, greenhouses, etc., that does have UV protectants in it, and which does not get brittle. (It also does not have all that ugly lettering printed on it.)

It's a bit more expensive, and you can't get it at your local hardware store, but you can order it online, and it's something to consider.
Omegablood (author)  jdege3 years ago
Thanks for the informative comment.
As an example with this new bit of info I can adjust my process and buy both types of PVC pipe, the plumbing grade and furniture grade.
With the furniture grade I can leave them plain white and continue to paint the plumbing grade.
Figuring out the cost of one vs the other I could possibly offer plain white flutes at a lower cost.