How Modern Fabricators Contribute to the Ever-Evolving Architectural Process
As previously outlined, the processes developed and executed by the modern fabricator are both innovative and ever-changing. The critical area of fabrication is no different as it requires well-thought-out processes and continuous quality system monitoring to ensure success.
The modern fabricator must be aware of the latest production technologies that provide the precision and tolerances that the client requires and facilitates these new technologies into internal processes. Like most new technologies, a level of customization is required.
The fabricator must understand new technologies to maximize the improvements to their current in-house systems fully. Over and above our investment in the latest fabrication machinery and techniques, CEI Materials has developed custom software. The software tracks everything from inventory usage and parts moving through the shop to progress to purchasing, and scheduling, coordinated with Project Management. Additionally, we recently created our own custom design application that enables us to program complex projects accurately and efficiently in a fraction of the time than off-the-shelf design software.
Additionally, we have quality control processes that check the quality for each part as they move from location to location within the shop. Each part is scanned as it moves into areas so that the location of each part is traceable. Finally, we have systems in place if an error arises to provide countermeasures to correct these errors permanently.
We also have information checks between departments that pinpoint relevant information that must be adequately communicated as projects mature through the company. And a continuous culture of teamwork supports corrective actions instead of punitive measures.
Project managers constantly communicate with our clients to ensure we know the project’s schedule and requirements. At the early stages of the project, we ask for an estimated delivery date to produce a schedule for the client to visually see when field measurements/survey/sign-off are required to meet that date. Once field measurements/survey/sign-off are received, the final design can begin. We then create a schedule for the client, so they understand the expectations of delivery.
With the help of our new ERP system, Project Managers (PM) can see real-time costs at any given time. In turn, this helps the PM review the entire job and budgets and where improvements can potentially be made, for instance, a phased project.
The PMs meet with the production and shipping managers before beginning fabrication on projects. In this meeting, the departments coordinate production and shipping requirements for the project. Shipping receives prints for the building and helps to determine the required custom crates for the job.
The PMs will then send a formal shipping request to the shipping department. At the end of the production line, crates are immediately filled and then get moved to the shipping department for everything to get locked down, scanned into our tracking software, and get ready to load onto a truck.
At CEI Materials, we have long been at the forefront of innovation and constantly upgrading our various in-house fabrication processes and workforce. In addition, fabrication personnel should be fully trained to operate at the highest levels of competency and craftsmanship. We believe that the role of the fabricator is to maximize the role of fabrication within the overall design process. We view our role as not just a facilitator but an integral partner with the other stakeholders.
Check out our eBook for more information on the Modern Fabricator: Key Players of Architectural Panel Systems