The case of the backwards machine

By KC Boxbottom in Fillers on September 10, 2014

"I've got a problem, KC."

My pal Jimbo McClenehan was on the phone. "Of course you do, Jimbo. It's the only reason anyone ever calls me. I am still waiting to hear I won the lottery."

"Seriously, KC, I just took delivery of a backwards machine," he says. "You'd better come have a look."

At the plant, Jimbo showed me his shiny new packaging line. The key machine was the monobloc filler and capper. The machine he had bought was supposed to be right to left but the builder delivered their more standard left to right configuration.

"What happened, Jimbo?" I asked.

"I don't know, KC. The shop drawings I got for approval showed the correct layout. But this is what was delivered."

"Didn't you notice it on a factory visit? Or at the factory Acceptance Test (FAT)?"

"I didn't do either, KC. We were already over budget and I could not afford it."

"Fiddlesticks on staying at home!" I exploded. "You spent two hundred thousand dollars on a new machine and couldn't find a couple more to visit the builder? Had you done that at major construction milestones, you would have noticed the problem when there was time enough to fix it.

"In a perfect world, the builder would swap this for a new machine but that would take four months to build a new one and you can't afford the delay."

As Ben Franklin says, "Penny wise, pound foolish." As true today as it ever was.

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