AIEL: Shop Tour and Description

Atlantic Illumination Entertainment Lighting



    Since the 1980s, Atlantic Illumination has been located in a tree-lined, residential neighbourhood at 80 Fairbanks Street in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. It is located near the Macdonald Bridge, just northwest of downtown Dartmouth and three blocks from the Wyse Road retail area.

    With a view of historic Halifax Harbour, the company resides in a two-story building, some of which dates from just after the Halifax Harbour Explosion of 1917. Total floor space for both levels is 500 square metres.

(Right) On a radiant Autumn day in 2005, company vehicles wait patiently outside the open loading bays of our original building.

(Image: The Old AIEL Warehouse with Two
 Vans Parked Outside)
(Image: A Newer Van is Parked at the Loading Bay of
 AIEL's Rebuilt Shop Front)

    Now renovated, the structure has a higher roof along with a remodelled facade and corrugated siding.

(Left) Four windows have been substituted for the upper bay doors; behind these are additional offices and a boardroom. Metal roll-up doors have replaced the swing-in wooden doors seen on the former version of the building. A newer company vehicle is seen in front.

Renewing the building exterior
demanded a new sign, of course!

(Image: The Exterior AIEL Warehouse Sign
 in white and Iridescent Blue)
(Image: Newly-Paved Parking Lot)

... and repaving
         the parking lot.

A remodelling of all departments within
has also been undertaken.

You are invited on a tour...

Our Showroom is the first major area encountered after traversing
AIEL's threshold and then turning into a short Crossover
Corridor that links the entry way to the Loading Bay. The
half-height Crossover wall and unobstructed entrance
into the Show Space, coupled with the visibility of
an exposed Sales Office and the now-higher
ceiling, have all contributed to an openness
not felt in our previous showroom.

(Image: A Wide View of the AIEL Showroom with 
 Displayed Products)

Product presentation is greatly enhanced in the
refurbished Show Space by having pegboarded walls
to the ceiling. New pedestals, stands, and racks
display merchandise for floor-level exhibits.

(Image: The Showroom South Wall Product Arrangements at AIEL)   (Image: Product Arrangements on the Showroom's North Wall)

A fresh approach regarding the rebuilt Sales Office has
been to forego the wall which once divided it from the
Showroom, and incorporate it into the Show Space itself.

(Image: The Sales Office and Counter)
  (Image: The Sales Office Counter and Seating)

    Plated steel shelving is situated within the Sales Office to maximise merchandise display capacity. Before renovations, this inventory was unseen by customers because it had been part of warehouse stores.

(Left) A supply of popular products is visible on the floor-to-ceiling shelves in the Sales Office.

    The boundary of the Sales Office is emphasised by a stylish counter at the door that leads to the Rental Corridor. Under-cabinet fixtures deliver an atmosphere of indirect lighting while preventing spill from affecting displays in the primary presentation area.

(Left) High-chair seating at the counter offers a comfort convenience for customers.

    This is the Rental Corridor just outside the Showroom; larger sales inventory, along with rental items are stored here. This is on pallet racking lining the floor where rentals are dispatched and returned through a loading bay door.

(Right) Some of our rental inventory is seen in this corridor along with cabling and related accessories, plus additional sales stock. Above the wall to the right is a generous storage loft.

(Image: Rental Corridor with Concrete
 Floor and an Open-Joist, Wooden Ceiling)

The Rental Corridor takes one to the building's
side stairway, below which is our relocated
Gel and Lamp Department.

(Image: Gel and Lamp Work Bench with Cupboards Above
 and Multiple Cabinet and Shelf Storage Surrounding)

(Above) The bench here has facilities for gel cutting and labelling. The two slots under the counter top hold sheets before and after cutting, thus freeing the work surface.

Also set up here is the ability to check lamps for continuity and output using a socket board and variable voltage supply. A bench-wide power strip provides plenty of outlets for this work station.

    As the first part of its name suggests, stored here is an inventory of colour, diffusion, and neutral-density media, of which we are a Lee Filters Dealer. Also stocked is a range of stainless steel patterns (gobos) with image subjects spanning a variety of popular categories.

    Replacement lamps represent the second part of this shop's name. A diversity of regular and specialty lamps for electronics and lighting purposes is maintained by AIEL. These include stage & studio, club, projection, miniature and indicator. Replacements for specialty lighting requirements, and for products of the past are inventoried as well.

(Image: Gel and Lamp Storage with the G&L
 Bench in the Background)

(Left) These are a few of the storage arrangements for items in Gel and Lamp. Across the aisle from this photo view, additional cabinets and drawers containing less common lamps complete this department.

    Finishing up a tour of the first side of the building, we enter the L-shaped Electronics Shop, where renovations saw its floor area enlarged by over 25 percent. The E-Shop handles repair of lighting control and related equipment. There is a total of 80 amps of power available for this purpose. For identification, each of the three technical benches is designated by a colour. Task lighting for each has one or more swing-arm fixtures matching that bench's colour name.

(Right) Visible are the Red and the White service benches along with the office setup for this department. Seen near the upper right at ceiling height is a row of six 1000-watt, blue photo-studio lamps for testing and calibrating dimmers.

    Increased space means that affiliated supplies are now located directly within the department. The old E-Shop layout had much of that warehoused in the adjacent corridor. Because room for bins and cabinets has increased, a greater separation of similar replacement parts became possible. This refined style of organisation allows items to be more readily located by tech staff, thus saving time.

(Image: Long Shot of the AIEL Electronics Shop's Entrance)

(Above) Paralleling the Showroom, pegboard from bench to ceiling complements organisation by allowing easy access to tools and test equipment. Having wall height to arrange various electronic components and other items makes for easy perusal by staff of what is available at any time.

Newly acquired E-Shop space allows for an expanded Solvents Station.
A larger choice of chemical thinners, dissolvers and degreasers
are kept in approved containers and have been placed in a
grey, aluminum cabinet with open, rectangular slots,
so affording easy access, but with safety.

(Below) The tall, slotted cabinet on the bench is the Solvents Station.
To its left, the corner Black Bench is a seated technician's position with under-cabinet illumination in addition to a swing-arm light. A full compliment of test equipment is housed in an above-bench hutch.

(Image: Electronics Shop Solvents
          Station and Black Bench)

(Above) The blue drawers at lower left have associated service items such as heatshrink and a heat gun, specialty cables and adaptors, and twist and cable ties. Smaller cabinets and drawers hold crimping supplies and electronic items such as connectors, switches, relays, and solid state components, plus parts for product lines carried by AIEL.

(Below) Looking back toward the E-Shop's entrance, at left is a 60-drawer parts cabinet. In the background the Red Bench has an array of tools and test gear, while on its left is an inventory of metric and Imperial hardware, plus some small drawers of parts and repair aids.

(Image: Electronics Shop Red Bench)

(Above) To the right of the Red Bench is a high-amperage, variable voltage supply with readout. On the shelves in the corner between the Red and the White Benches are lubricants and cleaners. The blue cabinet below stores soldering accessories, adhesives, batteries, and multipin connectors. To its right is a dispenser rack for hookup wire.

Our Assembly Shop is quartered within the second side of the building.
Custom fabrication occurs here, along with jobs requiring metal
work, electrical, carpentry, and other heavy labour. Several
support stations for these tasks are housed here, too.
This shop has 110 amps of power available.

(Image: The Low Bench with a Theatre Light Taken Apart)

    The Wet Counter is where items are cleaned, rinsed and dried before being sent to the Paint Shop and/or reintroduced to a fixture undergoing work.

    Ringing this shop's perimeter are major storage facilities that have piping, hardware, fixture replacement parts, and electrical cable, connectors and accessories.

(Left) A disassembled light in the midst of refurbishment is on the Low Bench. Below the brown cupboards in the left background sits the Wet Counter. A blue file cabinet and desk with under-cabinet lighting denote the office setting for this shop. Through the doorway is shelving holding more rental inventory.

(Image: Wet Counter with Cupboards Above.
         Brushes hang on the Pegboard Wall Behind the Work Surface)

(Above) The Assembly Shop Wet Counter has a fibreglass tub and a short hose for rinsing items. A collection of brushes and scouring products, protective gloves, plus cleaning and polishing fabrics aid the work done here. To protect the counter and the items left to dry, a custom rubberised covering adheres to the top surface of the counter. Over-sink and under-cabinet lighting complete this area.

(Image: A-Shop Showing
          Drill Press and Storage)

(Above) In the foreground is the drill press with its support tools and accessories. Storage areas seen here include electrical parts bins at middle right, and short pipes in tubes atop the grey pallet racking. Various metal plates, sheets, and angle are up there as well. Underneath the rack is our main hardware stock. To the left is the Buffer Station, behind which is a dispenser rack for cable and cordage spools.

(Image: Storage Units Under a Grey Pallet Rack)

(Left) A closer look under the pallet rack better shows the various drawers, bins, and totes for sorted hardware. Two former aircraft catering units have replacement parts in tiers of slide-out bins. These and the left shelving unit are castered so as to allow access to items stored behind. To provide specific illumination, a horizontal T8 fluorescent light hangs under the lower pallet rack level. Its shade is the black band at the very top of the photo.

Our Buffer Station is where tarnish, grime, and rust are removed from
lighting and shop equipment. The motorised unit's steel and brass
wire brushes buff hardware and large metal parts back to their
intended finish. Furthermore, certain plastics can have their
lustre restored here. All items, save for the tools, are
securely mounted onto the stand so as to prevent
movement, and to reduce sympathetic vibration.

(Right) A three-sided plywood guard confines debris and serves to hang gripping tools. Workers use these to grasp small items being buffed. The turquoise electrical bar at the back powers the buffer and its light. It has plastic inserts placed into its unoccupied outlets so as to exclude electrically conductive remnants.

The wheeled wooden stand permits floor cleaning and access to the cable/cordage rack in back. Mounted behind the buffer itself is a short-model, swingarm fixture. It can be swung to either side of each wire brush to place light directly onto the work. The drawer contains sight and hearing protectors, while the two-door cupboard stores a hand-held buffer used for portable capability, along with its wire brush attachments and other accessories.

(Image: Motorised Buffer on a Wheeled, Wooden Stand)

The Restoration Station
(Image: Restoration Station
 with Tools On Back Pegboard)

(Above) Central in this photo, the A-Shop Restoration Station focuses on finish work. In addition to typical tools, a variety of precision instruments is available for working in minute detail. Placed here is a choice of solvents, lubricants, cleaners, polishes and other chemicals, plus a selection of adhesive tapes. Also available are glue, solder and heat guns, along with an illuminated magnifier for close-up work. Under the latter is a wooden block into which felt-tip marker caps have been recessed and glued so as to make for fast access of a given colour -- and no chance of misplaced markers!

Other work stations partially seen are the Heavy Bench
to the left, while the Electrical Bench is at the right.

Through a second Assembly Shop doorway and across a corridor
is the Paint Shop. Previously accomplished within the A-Shop,
painting work now has its own place, as does the storage
of all paints and associated items, plus bulk supplies
of solvents and newspapers.

(Right) Tall, slender lockers contain electric floor scrubbers, some sponge mops, extension handles for roller frames, and other long items that might be required before or during painting. At the upper right, the compartmented cabinet has items such as spare spray nozzles, stir sticks, and a large, 6-volt flashlight. The uncovered wall seen at the rear of the shop space was waiting for a ventilator to be installed inside a Paint Booth that had not been built when this photo was taken in the early Spring of 2017.

(Image: Paint Shop in a Long Space)

(Image: Paint Booth with Black Door Closed)

Roller frames, trays, brushes and accessories hang protected within the open wall studs of this narrow space. Opposite to this is the shop's workbench with pegboard at the back of its surface. Hanging on that are regularly required items such as scrapers, paint can openers, a rubber mallet, masking tape, and scissors. Underneath the bench, a three-drawer cabinet has the primary stock of masking tape and replacement rollers, plus bristle, sponge, and speciality brushes.

The Paint Booth lies beyond. It was constructed only part way to the ceiling of the shop so that its roof could contribute additional storage.

The booth is an enclosed cubicle with a fan-exhausted vent to the outside. To ensure that items will properly accept paint when the temperature is cold and/or humidity is high, a linear, radiant heater sits above the floor on its own shelf. It is positioned to be at the level of typical items placed onto the painting platform. This platform is actually a large, hinged-lid box that is used to hold bulk newspaper for all our shops. Its double duty conserves space in the tight confines of the booth.

Also at hand on a small shelf are the most common spray paints currently being used for our refurbishment projects. A series of bulldog clips affixed to one of the walls grips stencils, latex gloves, and particle filter masks so as to make for quick access.

Illumination for painting purposes consists of two 120-watt, R-40 floodlamps, each in its own ball-mount socket. This provides smooth, bright, adjustable lighting at the correct angles. In the interest of the painter's comfort, an adjustable-height, saddle-style seat completes the setup.

(Image: Interior of the Paint Booth as seen through
  its Opened Door)

(Above) At upper right, the white cupboard holds the main stock of various spray paints, while bulk products reside above the Paint Booth or are on the grey shelves to the right. Under the bench is a cabinet of drawers for bulk storage of items, as is detailed in the main text. Seen through the open doorway in the background are part of the interior layout of the booth and its ceiling-mounted flood lighting.

(Image: Shipping and Receiving with
 a Bench at Left and Pallet Racking to the Right)

Next to the Paint Shop is Shipping and Receiving. It has one large bench for wrapping, boxing, tape dispensing, labelling and so on. The remainder of the area is taken up with storage for shipping containers and supplies.

    Upstairs are the company's business facilities and warehouse storage. A spacious bookkeeping office holds employee records, all stationery stock for the entire building, and the manuals for its business equipment. Generous counter and desk space is supplied for working, while under-cupboard and under-shelf fixtures provide even and unobtrusive lighting.

    Farther along the same corridor is IT Land. Here is where computer builds and repairs are done for both the business and its customers.

(Right) Work counters line two walls of IT Land while cabinets for storage sit beside or below. Layers of shelving above support monitors and disc drives.

(Image: IT Land at AIEL Showing the
 Corner Work Benches and Shelving Above)

Two views of the bookkeeping office.

(Image: AIEL Bookkeeping Far Corner)   (Image: Bookkeeping Main Desk)

For how our Shop Layout
came to be, go to
Work Area Setup

For ways a Work Space can
be Clutter Free, go to
Decluttering your Shop Space

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A Canadian Company

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