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The perfect, portable camera, battery & audio storage? (Part 1 – the Lean approach)

You probably know by now we do a lot of photography and filming for our Youtube and Instagram channels. Doing this on the go, often on location, and for long hours can take a lot of planning. Especially in terms of ensuring adequate battery life. Also for making sure we don’t leave any very expensive bits of kit behind on site. We’ve always managed with the storage we had in the past. But now we needed something that was going to make us operationally a lot leaner. Saving time and reducing stress in the process, and we had just the idea. kaizen continuous improvement lean business six sigma lean uk

The case we needed for our camera equipment was always going to be fairly big. We have a lot of kit! But equally it needed to be strong to protect the expensive contents too. One of the Nuprol cases seemed the natural choice. As that in itself was going to be a stand-alone case, we then needed to turn our attention to storage for the audio kit so a backpack seemed a great addition.

What are Nuprol cases?

Nuprol have become incredibly big in the Airsoft world. For quite some time we have stocked a range of foam inserts for Nuprol cases. These have been hugely popular for people looking to protect and store their kit in these super strong containers. Because of the heavy duty nature of them we were confident that this would be a great solution for our camera equipment. Also they come in 3 sizes (medium, large and extra large). So it allowed us to select a case that would be the right size for our camera gear, but without being too big or cumbersome to be portable and used on the move. To that end, we chose the Large case.

Why a backpack?

We’ve spoken in previous projects about the benefits of backpacks over hand-held bags. These include the weight of the contents being evenly distributed across the back rather than down one side of the body. But importantly too, they free your hands up for other things. In this case either for filming or for carrying our Nuprol case of camera equipment. A practical solution all round. kaizen continuous improvement lean business six sigma lean uk

What we wanted to create.

You’ll hear us talk a lot at Shadow Foam about Continuous Improvment, Lean, Six Sigma, Kaizen, 5S and the like. These are all variations on a theme. A means by which a business is always striving to improve products, services or products. Also to negate error and pre-emptively prevent issues from arising. But also too, a way of working and operating that eliminates all unnecessary waste. This of course plays to our sustainability credentials. But also to the fact we are a small but growing business and obviously we want to work as cost-efficiently as we can.

Shadow Foam is essentially a Lean product in and of itself. Since, when used in tool control situations, it’s going to protect your tools. Therefore, giving them a longer lifespan and protecting against loss and damage. Or if you consider things like tool control in the aviation industry, to prevent damage or catastrophe from occurring by applying effective tool control measures, the cost to life and financially being immeasurable. So why not take that same principle and apply it to much loved, frequently used and heavily invested-in camera and audio gear?

Aviation Toolbox
Kaizen, Lean business, Six Sigma are all methods we embrace using means like tool control to bring continuous improvement to our business

As with any project we take on, we gave a lot of thought to this case. It’s potentially going to make some big improvements to our camera and audio set up. If done right, this would compliment our Lean ways of working by offering the removal of any waste from our filming processes, ie kaizen continuous improvement lean business six sigma lean uk


No lost time:

  • If batteries weren’t charged whenever we needed to film
  • When we needed power and there was no mains power around
  • Whenever we needed a particular camera, lens or mic and had left it behind somewhere or not packed it

Reduce lost money:

  • Inadvertently damaging kit in transit which would need to be repaired or replaced
  • From losing kit when we left site which we would either need to return for, get shipped or lose forever
  • No more losing a great bit of content due to not having the right kit or power to film
  • Maximising battery life by good battery management and not over-charging.

Limit wasted energy:

  • Isolating the physical power in the case so it could be switched off as soon as a battery was charged
  • Reducing the time and energy spend by the filming crew when prepping to go to a shoot
  • Packing everything into as small a space as possible in an organised way to reduce weight when moving or transporting it around

kaizen continuous improvement lean business six sigma lean uk

As is often the case with the projects we work on, we did have to shape and adapt our plans to suit as we went along. But that’s the great thing about Shadow Foam, that it’s totally customisable to your requirements.

Did it work?

Well see for yourself – what do you think? Here’s the link where you can see more about our Nuprol camera case and audio backpack project, how it went and the end result.

It was quite a hefty project with a little more time, technique and effort going into it than perhaps a standard camera case project. But we think the results are more than worthwhile. Already we’ve seen benefits from having our kit organised in this way. So will potentially be taking this principle and applying it to even more areas of the business. So stay tuned for more Continual Improvement and Lean type projects coming soon. kaizen continuous improvement lean business six sigma lean uk

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