Taser International

Taser International May 14, 2011

North Scottsdale, Arizona

Problem: How to keep all small electrical components and tools necessary for individual tasks accessible while neatly stowed away

Solution: Workstations with a protective option to control static electricity

Benefits: Increased worker productivity, optimal protection against static electricity and electrostatic discharge to equipment and individuals, and elimination of visible clutter in an open lab environment

Products Used: StaticGard™ Workstations

When Taser International, producer of non-lethal defense devices, moved its operations to a futuristic building in North Scottsdale, Ariz., the Engineering R&D lab was placed in a focal point. Considered the brains of the organization, the new lab (called “The Black Box”) is surrounded by tinted glass to emphasize its importance to the company.

Taser wanted to outfit the new lab with the most advanced workstations available. “We had outgrown our former facility,” says Matt Carver, Taser’s technical liaison of R&D. “When we moved to the new building, we wanted a storage-and-organization system that would complement Taser’s cutting-edge image.” The former lab had seven standard grey three-riser workbenches with white tops. “The old benches were great for storage but the risers had become a catchall. We had so much stuff piled on them that they were overflowing onto the bench tops.”

While shopping for new equipment, Carver found the perfect solution on Stanley Vidmar’s website: black StaticGard™ drawer workstations with white electrostatic control tops and coordinating rollaway cabinets. The workstations and cabinets would provide much-needed organization for the meticulous work being handled by Carver’s team of technicians and engineers—and were aesthetically a perfect match for the Taser theme. The ESD protective option was designed specifically to control static electricity for work involving sensitive electronics. Vidmar is the only manufacturer that provides a complete ESD package, including a carbon-impregnated coating and grounding for all its workstations and cabinets.

Vidmar Storage Sales Engineer Tom Kelly worked with Carver to design individual drawer configurations best suited to the parts needed for Taser’s ongoing projects. Each drawer is outfitted with ESD mats and divided into bins for tools or small electronic components.

But Kelly did more than just specify cabinets: working with the floor plan four times larger than the previous lab, he helped Carver make optimal use of the available workspace while designing an arrangement that would best promote workflow. Twelve workstations encircle a center work area made up of four units pushed together. This center station provides room to spread out the parts needed for a project, and makes it possible for multiple people to work together. “The open layout works well and really promotes a team effort,” says Carver.

Vendors, law enforcement officers, and investors regularly tour the company’s lab, so Carver likes the fact that it’s easy to stow sensitive equipment away, yet keep it easily accessible. “Everyone who tours the building is most impressed by how this lab looks,” he says. “And the only thing we’ve done differently is put the Vidmar product in there.”