Day 16 – Box Finale

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Howdy, Today Angelo introduced us to the final box design for our Gusto chocolates. Our design now has a definitive colour and it looks far more finished than our original prototypes. The design still required some refinement in the details, however the main style was now done. Angelo, Lorna and I worked together to slightly redesign some of the problems areas and soon we had a design we were happy to produce en masse. Setting up the laser cutter was a challenge due to it’s tendency to stop working for no apparent reason, however we persisted and found which settings worked best on the cutter. We had managed to streamline the production process for the boxes by preloading the files onto the cutter and then manning the cutter only when needed. The cutter made a useful beep to confirm it had finished each process and so we needed only return […]

Day 17 – It’s chocolate day!

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Howdy, Today was an early start, being in at 9am to start producing chocolates wasn’t really helped by my current medication for kidney stones and the fact that I had accidentally skipped breakfast this morning. We met the chocolate expert from the health sciences department – Ray Newbury outside the food labs, where we were invited in to undertake a little bit of health and safety training. This simply included the general rules as well as clothing we had to wear to ensure the utmost of hygiene whilst handling the chocolates. Ray started by showing us the heating bowls, which allowed us to melt the chocolate in the correct industry standard way. This included heating the chocolates to 40 degrees centigrade, then cooling them to 20 degrees, then reheating them to 37 degrees, a process known as tempering. The chocolate took about 20 to 30 minutes to melt fully, at […]

Day 18 – Production Day & Constellation

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Howdy, Today, Lorna and Angelo have been producing boxes using the laser cutter as well as some card tags for smaller chocolate bags. Meanwhile I have been in a Constellation module lecture regarding library matters and how the library resources can help me write my dissertation. This afternoon however, Lorna and I took a drive to source some materials for our products. In the store ‘The Range’, we were able to find a variety of things we needed to finish our boxes and bags, specifically some cellophane for the box windows, ribbon for the bags and craft paper for inside the boxes. Overall, today has been a good day and I feel like we are nearing being completely ready to manufacture and package our products.

Day 21 – Box and Mould production continued

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Howdy, Today has focused mainly on producing stock of our boxes and further increasing the amount of moulds we have for making the chocolates. Angelo and Lorna had redesigned two of the 3d models to work better, which would hopefully allow the chocolates to release from the moulds far easier. After 3d printing a large selection of the new redesigned shapes, as well as some of the designs that had deteriorated due to the moulding techniques, we arranged the shapes on the vacuum former bed once again. Keith had managed to source some more of the PETG plastic that we had been using and so after he had found it, we were able to start moulding with the help and guidance of Keith. With our new moulds completed, we returned to the prototyping room to continue on producing more of the new boxes as well as our new business cards […]

Day 22 – More Chocolate Production

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Howdy, Today we started with an introduction by Richard specifying when we should be doing specific things like production and sales. After the talk, we had the morning to work in our groups towards anything we needed to do. We decided to delegate tasks between us and start working on them immediately. I decided to work on the point of sale stands for our sales events whilst Lorna and Angelo worked towards making our business plan as detailed and indepth as possible and Mike worked on promotional material and cards for sale alongside the chocolates. I decided to look at work done by larger companies with regards to their point of sales designs and so I started to get a pretty decent idea of what I should start working on and which direction our sales and promotional material should take. Richard came to talk to our group about how we […]

Day 23 – Point of Sale designs

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Howdy, Today I focused purely on the design of some of our point of sale stands. I started the day by searching for materials within the product design studio. I managed to find some spare clear acrylic sheet which I was able to use to create a stand to show a single box of Gusto chocolates to consumers in an effective manner. The stand was easily cut using a bandsaw, then strip bent to shape using a strip heater, then finally sanded using an emplaced rotary sander. These skills were transferred from my design & technology studies at school, though It was nice to hone my skills by undertaking this challenge. My second challenge was to screate a point of sale stand to hold a large amount of stock for presentation to customers. I began by sourcing some thick card which came in the form of some thin corragated cardboard. […]

Day 24 – Embroidery

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Howdy, Today I met Lorna after my BSc engineering session. Lorna had been helping Maggie Cullinane handle the embroidery of our team polo shirts with the Gusto brand logo. Lorna had just started the final shirt when I had arrived and so I was able to see the process of attaching the shirt to the machine and then starting it. Unfortunately after the embroidery, I had some kidney pain and felt ill and so I left to go home. Despite the health problems, today has been quite informative. I have learned a great deal about textiles, specifically embroidery.

Day 27 – Finalizing the sales day stuff

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Howdy, Today we finalized all our point of sales stands and promotional items, as well as deciding how everything would fit together to make the perfect sales stall. I started the day by creating another acrylic stand to match the original. I managed to locate another off cut of the plastic I had used in the original and proceeded to mark out and cut the acrylic. Once I had completed, I used a line bender again to bend the acrylic to shape. Using these simple skills has definitely improved my capabilities to make small, simple things within the workshop, especially point of sale stands. It was also greatly enjoyable to be able to use my hands in the workshop and make something that could be used and I was really happy with the quality of the result. We spent the rest of the day deciding how we would be able […]

Day 28 – Sales Day

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Howdy, It was the big day today, the day we actually sold our Gusto Gifts. The day started with me picking up our sales event stuff along with the rest of my team from the Howard Gardens. After we departed, we soon found ourselves in a hefty traffic jam which lasted about 45 mins, delaying our start to the day. We arrived at Llandaff and promptly setup our sale stand. Within about 10 mins the stand was up and running. Our sales were coming in at a moderate rate and I was content with being the salesman. I began by asking people if they would be interested in our chocolate stand whilst promoting our chocolate boxes. When this failed to create much attention, we began offering taste tests. The taste tests were successful at bringing in onlookers, however it didn’t really affect actual sales figures. By the end of the […]

Day 30 – Presentation Day

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Howdy, Today was the final day of our enterprise module, where we presented our enterprise idea to a panel of judges. Unfortunately I wasn’t feeling too good in our final preparations for the presentation. I was finding it difficult to remember exactly what I was supposed to be saying… Fortunately as soon as I entered the room with the panel, I managed to put all my energy into the presentation and our group pulled the performance off incredibly well. The presentation was a big eye opener to the questions that might be posed by companies or investors that would be analysing any kind of business proposition I had and I feel I have learned a few things about how to go about explaining the business plan to such people. Overall, today was incredibly informative and rewarding, but it was nice to get to the end of the project. Although I […]