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Continuous Improvement: It's not just for the law-abiding anymore

I have to say, I was amused by a recent article.

Authorities seize catapult used to hurl pot into Arizona

The headline pretty much sums up the story. Drug smugglers, looking for a new way to get their product to market, were thinking outside the box.

I think the Plan and Do phases of the PDCA cycle are done. Obviously, getting caught probably indicates that they have some work to do in the Check phase.

Of note, the smugglers tried to apply an existing technology in a new fashion. Just goes to show that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel in continuous improvement. Sometimes you just have to reinvent how the wheel is used. I will point out, though, that the design is far from optimal. And it doesn’t really appear to be a catapult, but it is hard to see the actual way the launch energy is stored. It has more characteristics of a trebuchet than a catapult, but I can’t make out a counterweight. Regardless, there is some room for improvement.

On a final note, I am betting that the ‘catapult’ ends up in a Mexican border patrol officer’s back yard. That would be some insane fun at a party.


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