Our new building is finally nearing completion, and more people are now moving in! The new and enlarged mechanical workshop, complete with shiny new CNC mill, has been up and running since before Christmas, but the other areas are now being steadily occupied too. As well as lighting, central heating, and power and data networks, this has involved the installation of what seems like several acres of kitchen worktops and cupboards, so if you have experienced any problems in obtaining such items for your own domestic projects, then we are the likely culprits for the shortage! Of course we could have paid several times as much for dedicated laboratory furniture, but since this also seems to be made of chipboard nowadays, we really couldn’t see the point. In any case we had already ruined our reputation by so seriously under-spending on the rest of the building, so it’s too late to try to put that right now.
One of the great features of the new building is the dedicated R&D area, which has a nice combination of public space for chatting, and of individual private offices where people can actually get on with some work. The occupants have been individually choosing how to fit them out, which has been giving a cool boutique-like effect, and Andrew our Technical Director has managed to avoid using chipboard altogether, albeit again while seriously under-spending. The R&D area is also just across the stairs (no, we don’t have a cathedral-like atrium taking up most of the space of our new building, just a light airy stairwell) from our newly extended production area, which is very handy when you need to get a replacement for whatever component you have just managed to vaporise.
But perhaps the most welcome feature is that we finally have dedicated space for setting up and testing complete microscopy or similar systems, whether they be for our own R&D purposes, for customer orders or for demonstrations. Since this area extends into the old mechanical workshop, it has turned out to be the biggest of all, but it has filled up no less quickly for that! It’s already proving particularly useful when entertaining visitors, who now have a chance not just to see our equipment in action, but to try it out for themselves as well. However did we manage before?
Some fitting out is still continuing though, but once that is finally done, maybe in just a few weeks from now, then we can give thought to the concept of some sort of formal opening. So watch this space!