I’ve been aware of Kitronik based in Nottingham at the wonderful Shipstones brewery buildings for years but had never been to visit them. Rob, who looks after their web site is quite active at the Nottingham Hackspace and was a huge help to me recently when me and Martin Raynsford set up our laser cutter company Just Add Sharks!
Kitronik supply mostly schools with inspirational educational electronics kits and sheet materials like like plywood and perspex too. They have a lot of gear for electronics hobbyists and are especially good suppliers for wearable electronics stuff like conductive thread. They also do all the fulfillment for Bare Conductive, a London based conductive paint company. They’ve ventured in the world of embedded electronics with their recent Kickstarter project the LAIKA kit for making Raspberry Pi’s into robotics prototyping platforms. They asked me to do some t-shirts for them too which you can see on my t-shirt gallery page.
You might not know this about me, but for my day job I’m a process improvement specialist. I specialise in Lean Process engineering, though barley get to use my GREEN BELT in anger. I was very impressed with Kitronik the place is immaculate…. I mean it not really one item of stock out of place, nothing stored on the floor, clean, tidy, ordered. The packing stations were excellently well organised and all the staff seems really happy with the setup. They get full marks from me on organisation. Other similar companies I’ve visited SHOULD try and operate like this… it doesn’t cost anything and will very likely save A LOT of money in the long run. Though much of the packing and shipping is done in house Rob told me a number of kits are packed at workers homes as (I assume) piece work and then sent in to be shipped out.
They have some nice toys there including a pick-n-place machine, a decent sized laser cutter and lots of kit for inventing new products. They were working on some new ideas from someone they are working with who they met through a Mini Maker Faire. Co-Founder Kevin Spurr spoke about how important he felt it was to support the Mini Maker Faires and how valuable they can be to meet hobbyists and inventors as well as get to show products to customers. Kitronik very generously supported my own Mini Maker Faire at Derby last year.
You should check out their website and shop at http://www.kitronik.co.uk/