Wednesday, 22 January 2014

08:36 – Winter is back in Winston-Salem, or at least the cold weather. We haven’t gotten any frozen precipitation and none is in the forecast. Last night, though, the wind chill was supposed to be -4F (-20C), and the next three days are to have highs around freezing and lows in the 10F to 20F range.

One thing about this business is that we go through bottles by the thousands. The number per kit varies by kit type, but typically when we build a batch of 30 kits that accounts for a thousand or so bottles. So we generally order several cases at a time, with one case being anything from 1,100 to 1,650 bottles, depending on size.

Our current kits use mostly 15 mL and 30 mL PE cylinders and 30 mL PE wide-mouths, with an occasional 125 mL PP cylinder and 30 mL amber glass. When we start shipping the advanced chemistry kit that mix will change to include a lot more of the 30 mL glass bottles, which are needed for chemicals like concentrated acetic, hydrochloric, nitric, and sulfuric acids, 30% ammonia and hydrogen peroxide, and so on. There’ll probably be a dozen or more glass bottles in that kit, which brings up the problem of breakage during shipping. There’s really no alternative to wrapping each bottle in foam padding. I think this is what we’re going to use, one 6×12″ sheet per bottle. The foam is only 1/32″ thick, but rolling each bottle up in one sheet and taping it should provide enough foam thickness to protect against breakage.