Learning to manufacture locally

On the Provail factory floor

provailone

Yesterday Phil and I made a visit to Provail, a local non-profit that does manufacturing, assembly, and fulfillment for a variety of clients, including Boeing, Cascade Designs, and DOD. Provail trains and employs people with disabilities, matching them with well-paying manufacturing jobs that mesh with their skills.

We learned about Provail from one of the many people who have taken an interest in Shift Labs and offered their help. We love the idea of doing local manufacturing, and we also love the idea of working with a social enterprise.

provail2Machines are beautiful

I visited their facility on the north end of Seattle a couple weeks ago, and this week Phil and went back together to have a design for manufacturing conversation with their staff. We’re working on the housing for the Drip Clip, and we want to make sure we’re aligning our CAD designs with simplicity of manufacture and assembly.

We’re actually super excited about learning to do small-batch manufacturing efficiently and cost-effectively. Part of our mission at Shift is to figure out how to do distributed manufacturing in a scalable way, and we think Provail will be an important partner on that journey.

Also, factories are just cool.

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