Thursday, April 25, 2019

KidWind Packaging Challenge

In preparing for the 2019 National KidWind Challenge in Huston, TX this May 21-23 I have the opportunity to work on my packaging skills to ship items to the competition.

Although the KidWind Challenge is about producing electricity with the turbine you build you have to have some wind to make them work. This year they will be adding the two wind tunnels that I built for the Wisconsin State KW Challenge. The tunnels are folded down for storage and the two barn fans placed outside on the 4' by 5' pallet I built.

Now getting them to Dallas is only half of the job. The shipping container must be reassembled to protect the wind tunnels and fans for shipment back to Wisconsin. For this I color coded all the pieces  so they can be put back together using the same screw holes.

I will crate it up at my house. Then the feed mill guys will pick it up with their fork life and take it to their loading dock for pick up by the carrier for the trip to Huston.

Now the next packing job was to show the KidWind teams I work with how they could pack their turbines for checked luggage on the plane for the competition.

The first step is to find a nice crush proof suitcase. My old Sampsonite I used for several Odyssey of the Mind coaches competitions did the trick.

The inside looks like this. The green thing is a 15 pound truck brake drum that is used for the base of the wind turbine. In the center is the nacelle and the surrounding boxes hold the blades, extra parts, tools and bolts need for assembly. The tail is below everything and the tower is in the back. The piece of 1/2" OSB in the lid acts as the top half of the "sandwich".

The key to it is that the brake drum is bolted to another piece of 1/2" OSB and the OSB is fitted to the suitcase. So everything is held solidly in place. The tail is placed below this OSB piece and well protected. When the case is closed everything is "sandwiched" tightly together. No movement allowed. We are prepared for the most careless baggage handler the airlines can find!

And here you have it. All assembled and ready for the wind tunnel. The only bad thing is that the suitcase is from my college days was made in 1969 before they thought of putting wheels on them.

Packing Challenges met!

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