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Celebrating 9 Years

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Celebrating 9 Years

Happy birthday to us! It was 9 years ago today that Gareth officially incorporated Creative Conners, and this past year has been one of the most exciting. Here’s a short recap:

Simply put, year 9 was the biggest year the company has ever had. Our sales were up thanks to a lot of new customers like All Access, Tom Carroll Scenery, Proof Productions, Cleveland Playhouse, New York Theatre Workshop, Zach Theatre, Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, Cigar Box Studios, Tuacahn Ampitheatre, New Theatre Restaurant, Valencia College, Brandeis University, Axxis Inc and many others, not to mention all of our returning customers who have been growing their automation inventories while we’ve been growing the company.

Last year I told you about our move in 2011 to a new shop, which was a big step for the company. Not to be outdone, in 2012 we moved again, to a bigger shop a couple of doors down in the same building. With more space, we got more tools, more fabrication capability and a fantastic office. And now we have all the room we need for the growth we’re projecting for the next 5 years.

Last August we added our 4th employee, Tom Battista, who can take credit for actually making most of the gear that we send out. And last month, we added another two fabricators to our staff for the summer, Jon and Kody.

CCI exhibited at LDI in Las Vegas last fall, and Gareth and I got a chance to talk about our products with all the people that came by our booth, and we’re excited to be exhibiting at USITT in 2014.

Most importantly, we continue to introduce new products and improve the ones we have. This spring we announced our Spotline hoist for vertical lifting and the Trickline actuator for linear movement. We also released Spikemark 3, a major update to our cueing software. On the horizon is a revamp of the Stagehand and Showstopper product lines, which we’ll be talking a lot more about in the coming months.

On a slightly more personal note, Gareth and I both added dogs to our families. Gareth welcomed a rescue-dog into the Conner household who was renamed Sprocket, and the Donahues got a cock-a-poo puppy who we named Archie, because nobody liked my choice of Mr. Waffles.

We’re looking forward to our 10th year in business, and we want to thank everyone who has helped us get here by putting their trust and their resources into our products, our company and our people. Thanks for coming along for the ride!


 

New Cable Assemblies for Stagehands

We just received our new multi-cable from Multi/Cable Corp, and attached one of the connectors we’ll be using for the new Stagehand Pro that is part of the Spotline hoist package.

For those of you interested in the technical details, the cable has four 10-gauge conductors and eight 14-gauge conductors. The insulation is UL listed to 300 volts. The connector is a Harting-style from Automation Direct. The big pins are rated for 80 amps and the smaller pins up to 16 amps.

This assembly will handle motor and brake power, with additional conductors for the secondary brake and fast-acting brake circuits that the new hoist requires. Having all the power conductors in one cable makes for a tidy package and minimizes the cable clutter on stage, and as a bonus, we also get a more positive lock with these connectors.

We’re pretty excited about these improvements and we’ll keep posting pictures as it continues to come together.

SHPro cable and connector

 

Ramping Up

The summer is in full swing and our summer team members, Jon & Kody, are learning lots of new skills. We decided that we’d take the opportunity teach the guys about machining processes while stocking up components that we manufacture for our Pushstick, Revolver, and Spotline. We bought a pile of aluminum stock and steel shaft material…

Shaft
 
Jon is learning how to single-point thread on our lathe…

Jon on the lathe
 
Kody is learning how to operate the Tormach CNC mill to make various parts (bearing housings, tension mounts, etc.)…

Kody on the Tormach
 
Both Kody and Jon are fast-learners, careful, and competent. They are doing great work here and seem to be enjoying the opportunity to learn some skills that aren’t common in typical scene shops. In the coming weeks they’ll get a chance to do some electrical & electronic work. Should be fun!

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