Orangebox Factory Visit

Last week when we were given our briefs Orangebox was among the companies which we were designing our BBC based project on. They had offered an interesting live brief which asked us to design a suitable multi purpose table which would be used for a variety of office tasks such as for holding a laptop, for writing, and to use when presenting work to others. This table therefore needs to be extremely versatile, it also needs to be comfortable and durable as it will be used for long durations of time on a daily basis.

On the 4th of October we visited one of Orangebox’s main factories which was situated in Nantgarw. On arrival we were immediately briefed for safety and escorted around the company  where we looked at the several stages of product production.

The first place we entered was the design room which consisted of large computer suites all running CAD packages, there were sketch books beside the computers and large cups of coffee besides them. The walls were covered with a vast amount of pin boards for new and innivative ideas.

We then walked through the rest of the offices where we saw people ordering in quantities of material for future furniture production, we also saw their customer services and there several scattered conference booths. These overlooked the production line; in the extremely large and busy factory.
Once our tour of the offices were done we then went to the factory floor, here we could see the furniture which was previously designed on paper and on CAD software come to life. The first process we saw was the fabric beeing woven and cut by several extremely skilled workers, they used several templates of different shapes and sizes; they were then cut before being sown together and fitted to the final product. This section was therefore extremely vital and was where the process both began and finished in the production line. We then saw the main factory floor which began with sorting the several parts before being passed down and assembling them slowly. This was a very interesting thing to see; and was extremely helpful in visualising how my product (If choosen) would be slowly produced, with each process contributing to the final product.

This tour also showed us how a factory line works and how everything must be efficient, as each process is of the utmost importance. I think that this visit enlightened me largely and in seeing the equipment they had available and their capabilities this has given me a better idea of what the company are able to do and what I am therefore able to design!

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