Blue Skies – ’07
I then took a job in Ghana working in a fruit factory. Blue Skies employs thousands of people in Ghana. They take organic produce farmed in west Africa, cut it up and package it in little clear packages then put them in the cargo holds of passenger airlines and fly them to Europe. This means that within 48 hours of picking a pineapple from a small farm in Ghana, people in london are buying the fruit. I was in charge of the layout for the new factory. This meant I spent a lot of time watching people work and use machines. Then I design the orientation of the new factory to make the workflow easier. This included designing the factory layout.
We started with this..
And then working with the team to actually get the thing built / moved between shifts so that we didn’t have a break in production.
Oddly probably the largest impact I had in the project was the installation of windows between the different sections of the food processing process. Each stage of the process (Sorting the dirty fruit, washing fruit, cutting fruit, packaging fruit, storing / shipping packaged fruit) needs to be in separate rooms. And there is basically a conveyer belt leading from each room to the next. What I found was that to communicate people in one room would put their head through the holes in the walls for the conveyer belt to speak with people in the next room. I added windows to the design so each team to communicate with the people in the next room.
Also, I have to say, I love Ghana 🙂