You are on page 1of 20

Findings 

Current Stream 
 

Introduction 
There are three major streams that are affecting the flow at AtlanticSolar, namely supplier 
deliveries, manufacturing, and sales and marketing. Although the manufacturing is not lean as 
yet, it is recommended to focus on the more pressing issue of inventory and stock. 

Based on observation, the manufacturing side of the business may be optimized, but for the 
system to achieve flow, it must consolidate the sales and marketing department, the inventory 
and procurement office and manufacturing. As each panel is dependent on external suppliers, 
the floor is often incapable of matching demand from sales due to the high variability of market 
sales month to month. 

Coupled with the floor working in batch flow, should a component not be available, they 
stockpile the sections they can make. This not only increases the work in progress (WIP), which 
increases the amount of stock on the floor, but also the potential for rework on the plates, for 
example, should the customer want black foam backing and the inventory has been depleted, 
the sections already made will need to be reworked to fulfil the customer’s demand. This will 
either have a knock‐on effect on other projects or on the time taken to react to the client’s 
requirement. 

It is believed that by introducing new company standards, such as Lean AND 5S, the inclusion of 
sales and marketing into the general manufacturing side of the business will allow for less WIP, 
calmer staff, less work closer to deadline and quicker lead in time from customer order to 
installation. 

Sales and Ordering 
Sales and orders are made in the top office away from the shop floor. Although there is an 
unofficial method purely because the inventory clerk demands it, the sales process is 
independent of what the manufacturing floor is doing. 

This is an issue because the floor manager and the inventory clerk play catch up to ascertain 
what the sales team has promised to clients.   
 

There are two categories, domestic sales and industrial sales, which include housing contracts. 
Domestic sales include orders from dealerships and plumbers, as well independent customers 
requiring installation. 

By splitting the sales into these two types, it is easier to acknowledge that while domestic sales 
add to the recognition of the company as customers are in direct contact with the company and 
its product, the income for the company is largely defined by industrial contracts and tenders 
from government. 

As tenders are not consistent, and domestic sales are dependent on the market, the orders vary 
for each month. This creates tension should a sale come late in the month and there is no stock 
of panels to fulfil the date set out by the sales team. The manufacturing team then needs to 
work harder and under more stressful conditions to make the deadline, increasing the potential 
for mistakes and reworks. This also puts pressure on the inventory clerk when the monthly 
credit allowance with vendors has been used up. As vendors are unaware of the urgent 
requirement of stock, they are unable to meet the same deadlines set out by the inventory clerk 
because of late notice or payment issues.  

Inventory and Vendors 
Currently this is the main disruptor due to the sales dept. setting deadlines and delivery dates. 
Time is then spent fire‐fighting and contacting vendors to make sure that manufacturing has 
enough stock and inventory to finish the client’s order. This often leads to a burn out for the 
inventory clerk due to having to push vendors that are not able to adapt to the new stress.  

Vendors 

McNiel Saphyr Plumbing Copper

D & E Steel Service Box panels, cover panels, stand angles, mounting
Centre strips

GSA/Armourplate Glass

Sagex Foam

Galvatech Galvanizing

 
Manufacturing 
Main issue arises due to stock not being available. 

Streams are currently being done simultaneously when inventory allows, increasing WIP 
dramatically. 3 streams have been identified, manifold manufacture, including the fins and 
copper brazing required, box assembly (manifold housing essentially) and the glazing process 
where the plate is sealed with glass. 

Manifold and assembly 
When the copper arrives, the large lengths require that other processes stop to make sure no‐
one is injured. The flow from the copper vault to manufacturing floor is severely flawed as the 
WIP and assembly tables are not conducive to the 5.5m lengths being moved around. 

Cutting the shorter inlet/outlet tubing needs to be done with a handheld tool as the circular saw 
is too fast to hold those lengths 

Stands 
The metal cutting and the angles required for proper assembly are inhibitive of flow partly due 
to parts not being standardized. Each piece needs proper measuring and cutting. The smaller 
panels require smaller stands, while the larger panels can use similar stands with wider 
supports. 

Covers 
The angled panels for the cover plates require a large amount of measuring and cutting to allow 
for the bending during assembly. 

Glazing 
Silicon is used when laying the glass on the panel; the covers are then riveted on the panel. As 
this process effectively clamps the glass to the panel, the assembly can be moved immediately. 

Layout 
There is a general problem with the layout of tables and shop tools on the manufacturing floor, 
coupled with the distance to the inventory this has a negative affect on flow of material as well 
of tooling scheduling. 
 

Recommendations 

Proposed Stream 
 

Sales and Marketing Incorporation 
Any customer enquiry that entails a quote must go through the inventory and manufacturing 
managers before being confirmed. This allows for an adequate date of delivery to be discussed 
and confirmed. As they are the only people on the floor that can ascertain availability of stock 
and finished panels, they can accurately measure the required amount of work before setting a 
deadline. This allows for any extra stock and scheduling requirements to be done before the 
customer pays the deposit. Then once the job is confirmed, any extra orders required by 
manufacturing can be done at the same time.  

The quote will then state exactly what the customer needs to know, and any installation date 
can be confirmed after the finished manufacture date. The customer will perceive a difference 
with service delivery as the installation date will happen as quoted. 

This system will likely be better suited to larger industrial installation orders for more than 20 
panels as levelled scheduling will allow for smaller orders to be made and sold as is. This will also 
create a time buffer for stock, such as glass, to arrive in time for the order to start and negate 
the inventory/vendor issue as discussed in the previous section. 

Vendors 
By involving vendors in the supply processes and requirements, they are then able to 
understand the company’s requisition habits.  

By also introducing levelled scheduling, the ordering that takes place is on a constant stream 
and deliveries are done either daily or week by week. This not only helps the supplier fulfil the 
order, but also gives him a consistent time frame with which to work and deliver with. The 
advantage of this for the company is that the supply chain is constant; this means that a smaller 
amount of raw material exists on the shop floor (Less WIP) and translates to smaller capital 
costs for manufacturing panels. I.e. The accountant doesn’t need to pay large lump sums to 
creditors at the end of the month to right their account because the stock being delivered is 
payed for upfront weekly and the stock is used immediately to generate income from sales. This 
frees up capital to spend on new products and improving the range or a cash buffer to allow for 
the company to take on new orders. 

Also, by receiving raw material weekly and daily, the space freed up on the floor and in 
inventory can be put to more productive use. 
On the manufacturing floor, the space is then only used for manufacture. This creates a 
dedicated area for work and any material that leaves the area is a finished product ready for 
shipping. 

Standardized Work 
Procedure list 
Standardized work‐chart, with instructions for each panel allow for a step by step system to be 
in place. This creates a procedure that must be fulfilled before any further work can be done, by 
allowing for initiative, this can eventually be made shorter as the shop workers will be able to 
cite issues during manufacture better that the floor manager can. Domestic sales will be in the 
standard format, of 1.2, 1.7 and 2.2, whereas special tenders and orders will be done during the 
allocated times. 

Stands 
For all installations, the site determines the need for a stand, and also the required angles for 
the plate to collect the maximum amount of sunlight and heat radiation. The construction 
process, however, is long and drawn out, as discussed in the previous section. By creating a 
design that can easily be adapted either during the ordering process or installation, there is less 
manufacturing time needed, thus allowing the stand components to be delivered to Galvatech 
for galvanizing sooner.  

As the 1.2 panels are relatively shorter than the 1.7 and 2.2 panels, the stand required is also 
shorter. By using a defined standard, the angle and height of the panels can be adjusted during 
assembly from predefined sizes. For the longer sizes, a similar approach can be used. 

If the time taken to make a stand is more consistent, it is likely that Galvatach will allow for 
bookings to be made at the start of manufacture to allow for the stand to be dropped off on a 
delivery/pick‐up/installation run and retrieved the next day.  

Manufacturing Layout 
By altering the floor layout to facilitate flow of material and work, the manufacturing process 
becomes more streamlined. By making each process flow, the value stream can be seen 
immediately on inspection. This allows the stream to be likened to a drain, if you are 
experiencing a clog in your drain, production stops immediately and the problem attended to. 
The benefit of this is that each process that causes hassles is examined immediately whenever a 
problem arises, and the shop floor will be able to instantly see what is required for flow to be re‐
initiated.  
In terms of quality, the product line is stopped until quality is back on track. The manufacturing 
line then becomes a continuous improvement line helping ensure each product upholds any 
standards (ISO and SABS) required. 

Flow 
By creating flow on the workshop, during months with low sales volume, the floor can still be 
kept constantly busy just at a slower flow rate. Thus the number of people on the floor can stay 
the same until maximum output capacity is reached during high sales months; when that point 
is reached, anything holding up the flow will be seen immediately and fixed leading to more 
output, etc. This will eventually lead to an ideal process time. As this industry is changing as new 
designs emerge, each new product will see this development. 
Ordering

Value Total Value


Creating Time Creating
Steps (mins) Time (mins)
1 Customer calls for information about solar geysers 1 10 10
2 Customer calls with intent to purchase 2 10 10
3 Site evaluation 3 45 10
E 4 Initial quotation drawn up 30
5 Customer reviews quote 14 days?
6 Customer transfers deposit 4 5 3
7 Sales initiates job card 5 120 5
Total 5 220 38

Inventory and Manufacturing

Value Total Value


Creating Time Creating
Steps (mins) Time (mins)
8 Johan checks and confirms order 15
9 Johan calculates material requirements 10
E
10 Jasantha reviews stores 10
11 Informs Johan he can begin manufacture 5
Total 40

Manifold Assembly

Value Total Value


Creating Time Creating
Steps (mins) Time (mins)
E 12 Determine sizes required 23.1 5
F 13 Fetch copper from inventory 10
14 Cut tubing to required sizes 6 15 7
A
15 Punch tubing in jigs 8
16 Set up tubing in jig 2
17 Drill tubing holes 7 7 5
18 set up tubing in jig 2
19 Ream holes 8 14.5 11
F 19.1 Reaming tool required 5
20 Braze tubing 9 20 16
F 20.1 Brazing rod, gas, torch required 3
21 Stacked for cooling 20
B
22 Pressure and quality testing 10 5 3
23 Fetch fins and manifold from depot 7
23.1 Chemical bath for fins 11 40 35
23.2 Store fins in depot 10
24 Clamp fins for mounting 6
25 Mount fins on manifold 2
26 Assembly 12 15 7
G 26.1 Cut mounting strips for manifold 2
F 26.2 Drill, rivet gun, rivets required 5
27 Paint assembly 13 5 3
28 Stacked for drying 10
Total 8 218.5 87

Boxes

Value Total Value


Creating Time Creating
Steps (mins) Time (mins)
E 29 Confirm size required 3
30 Set up panel 2
30.1 Fetch panel from store 3
31 Punch manifold inlet/outlet holes 14 5 4
32 Punch corner hinges 15 5 3
C 33 Drill mounting holes 47.4 Drill mounting holes in strips 16 3 1
34 Fetch correct size foam base 2
35 Cut foam strips for side insulation 12
36 Assemble frame 17 20 10
Total 4 55 18

Stands(Optional)

Value Total Value


Creating Time Creating
Steps (mins) Time (mins)
37 Confirm if stand required 1
D
38 Calculate size required 10
39 Angles signed out 5
40 Metal is cut to required size and angle 18 25 15
41 Metal galvanised 19 540 240
41.1 Stand collected 30
42 Stand test assembled and packaged 20 15 12
42.1 Bolts, washers, spanner required 3
Total 3 629 267

Final Assembly

Value Total Value


Creating Time Creating
Steps (mins) Time (mins)
43 Fetch manifold assembly 5
44 Fetch box assembly 3
45 Assemble box and manifold 21 10 10
45.2 seals, rivets, drill, rivet gun required 5
46 Move to storage 1
47 Final Assembly 22 10 8
47.1 Fetch box assembly 2
silicon protected by cover panels 47.2 Fetch glass cover 1
can be moved immediately 47.3 Make top covers 6
47.4 Collect mounting strips from store 5
47.5 Drill, rivet gun, rivets, silicon required 6
48 Packaging 23 5 3
48.1 Make box covers 2
48.2 Package stand with required bolts 5
48.3 Strapping, packaging tools required 2
49 Storage 3
Total 3 71 21

With stand Grand Total 23 1233.5 431


Without stand Grand Total 20 604.5 164
MANIFOLDS

10 11 1-7
13

28 28 27

27

12
8 9
24

25 25
26

23.1

14

40
16 17 18 17 23
15 19 20 23.2

21 22
BOXES

10 11 1-7

29
8 9

36 36

34
35 30

33 31
32
STANDS

39 10 11 1-7

42
41

42

38
8 9 37

33

40
ASSEMBLY
49

10 11 1-7

42
41
47.3
47 47 47
48 48 48

47.2

28

12
8 9 46 46
44 44

45 45

47.4

43
COMPLETE
49

Copper Vault
Inventory Store
39 10 11 1-7
13
Stairs Legend
42 MANIFOLDS
41 BOXES
47.3 STANDS
47 47 47 ASSEMBLY
48 48 48
Glazing Table
47.2

42 28 28 27
Paint Booth
Drying 27
Johan's Desk
12 29 38
8 9 37 46 46
44 44 24

45 25 45 25
26 36 36

34
35 30

23.1
Punching
47.4 33 31
Circular Saw 14 Drill 32
Corner Press
Circular Saw 40 Drill Drill 43
16 17 18 17 23
15 19 20 23.2

Brazing
21 22 Quality and Pressure Check
A
For
o thee 3 sstandard
a da d ssizes of manifold,
es o a o d, 1.2,, 1.7,, 2.2,, a pu
punch
c jjig
goon the cutting
e cu g table
ab e for each manifold.
o eac a od
This will allow the punching, for locating the drillled holes that will eventually be reamed, to be done on the cutting table

Cut tubing
Slide into measured spaces on table
Place cover over tubing
Punch holes
Move onto drill jig

Update:
Have a jig for each panel size
Interchangeable with floor load, essentially changeover time, can be done before changing sizes.
p and bottom bar to be p
1.2 will need top placed in the jjig,
g, and the holes p p y located to drill and ream in one p
properly process
Remove tubing, move it on to brazing process.

B
What effect will quenching have on copper?
The sooner the quality and pressure testing can be done, the sooner the flaws raised can be fixed

C
Support and mounting for drilling the mounting holes on panels

D
Standardize stands
Create them pparallel to the p
panels,, and send off during
g manufacture
Look into the galvanizing process, can it be done in chemical wash?

E
Initial quote must take manufacturing and inventory into account
Only they can assess the required time frames
Overall capacity and capability can be reviewed by them before setting deadline for installation

Have one meeting, combining all these functions


before quotation comes out, team can then give date and it is then set in stone
Once flow is achieved in the supply chain, the number of days to installation will become smaller and smaller

F
All tools are issued to production members in the morning, and they are completely responsible for them
These include: rivet guns,drills, jigs, brazing equipment, any required safety equipment

G
All consumables and stock must be retrieved from store for each panel made
This requires that the box and manifold lines fetch their stock at the same time, ie, one issue at inventory = one total packaged assembly

H
Seal glass cover to panel by using ruggerized cadding fit to panel

I
Drop off stand metal on delivery/pick up route in morning after booking it in to be galvanized
In relationship with Galvatek, find an assurance that if we book it in on said day on order day, and it is delivered on time, the pick up with have it after the specified standard time

J
Running track where punching, drilling for mounting holes and corner cutting for panels can be done all on one line of tables,
Use drill borer instead of hole punch

K
Standardized job card

L
Pick up galvanized stand on way to installation
can only work on small projects, and quality must be ensured and inspected.
review 48.3

M
Packaging requires table that can be easily accessed from both sides as the current tables where assembly and glazing happen are not conducive to the process
and require the panel to be lifted and then rotated to finish both sides
Ordering

Value Total Value


Creating Time Creating
Steps (mins) Time (mins)
1 Customer calls for information about solar geysers 1 10 10
2 Customer calls with intent to purchase 2 10 10
3 Site evaluation 3 45 10
4 New project meeting 4 20 15
4.1 Sales, manufacturing and inventory teams required
E
Initial quote drawn up 30
5 Customer reviews quote 14 days?
6 Customer transfers deposit 5 5 3
K 7 Sales initiates job card 6 30 5
7.1 Job card now contains all required information
8 Fetch ALL required stock (for manifold, box and stand assemblies) 5
(as in jobcard) Total 6 155 53

Stream 1 Stream 2
Value Value
Value Total Value Value Total Creating Value Total Creating
Creating Time Creating Creating Time Time Creating Time Time
Steps (mins) Time (mins) Steps (mins) (mins) Steps (mins) (mins)
TUBING 40 (in parallel with copper cutting)
A 14 Cut and punch tubing 7 18 8
16 Set up tubing in jig 2
17 Drill tubing holes 8 7 5
18 set up tubing in jig 4
19 Ream holes 9 14.5 11
BRAZING
BOXES 20 Braze tubing 23.1 (in parallel, placed in bath immediately before cutting) 10 20 16 40
J 30 Set up panel 2 B 21 Stacked for natural cooling 20
31 Punch manifold inlet/outlet holes 15 5 4 22 Pressure and quality testing 11 5 3
C 33 Drill mounting holes 17 3 1 23 Fetch fins and manifold from depot 7
32 Punch corner hinges 16 5 3 23.1 Chemical bath for fins 12 35
47.4 Drill mounting holes for strips 1 23.2 Store fins in depot
34 Fetch correct size foam base 2 24 Clamp fins for mounting 6
35 Cut foam strips for side insulation 12 25 Mount fins on manifold 2
36 Assemble frame 18 20 10 26 Assembly 13 15 7
26.1 Cut mounting strips for manifold 2
27 Paint assembly 14 5 3
28 Stacked for drying 10
Total 7 95.5 42 Total 5 92 64 40

Stands(Optional) Final Assembly


Value
Value Total Value Value Total Creating
Creating Time Creating Creating Time Time
Steps (mins) Time (mins) Steps (mins) (mins)
40 Metal is cut to required size and angle (as in jobcard) 19 25 15 45 Assemble box and manifold 22 10 10
D
41 Metal galvanised 20 315 240 H 47 Final Assembly 23 10 8
41.1 Stand collected 30 47.1 Box assembly delivered 2
L
47.2 Fetch glass cover 1
47.3 Attach rubber cadding 2
48 Packaging 24 5 3
42 Stand test-assembled and packaged 21 15 12 48.1 Make box covers 2
49 Storage 3
Total 3 385 267 Total 3 35 21

With stand Grand Total 24 670.5 447


Without stand Grand Total 21 285.5 180
MANIFOLDS 1.2 1.7 2.2
42 49

7-sales
8 7 1 2

41
3 47.1 47.3
48 47

47.2
28 28

45 36 27
35 Trasparent Shield

Foam Storage Paint Toolbox/Shelf


7 34

30 Box Storage 26
25 Legend
Pneumatic Access at location
Guide Rail 24

31
14 40
33 16
17
32 18 23.1

19

23
20

21 22
BOXES 1.2 1.7 2.2
42 49

7-sales
8 7 1 2

41
47.1 47.3
48 47

47.2
28 28

45 36 27
35 Trasparent Shield

Foam Storage Paint Toolbox/Shelf


7 34

30 Box Storage 26
25 Legend
Pneumatic Access at location
Guide Rail 24

31
14 40
Drill 33 16
17
32 18 23.1

19

23
20

21 22
STANDS 1.2 1.7 2.2
42 49

7-sales
8 7 1 2

41
47.1 47.3
48 47

47.2
28 28

45 36 27
35 Trasparent Shield

Foam Storage Paint Toolbox/Shelf


7 34

30 Box Storage 26
25 Legend
Pneumatic Access at location
Guide Rail 24

31
14 40
33 16
17
32 18 23.1

19

23
20

21 22
ASSEMBLY 1.2 1.7 2.2
42 49
49
4

7-sales
8 7 1 2

41
47.1 47.3
48 47 47

47.2
28 28

45 36 27
35 Trasparent Shield

Foam Storage Paint Toolbox/Shelf


7 34

30 Box Storage 26
25 Legend
Pneumatic Access at location
Guide Rail 24

31
14 40
47.4 33 16
17
32 18 23.1

19

23
20

21 22
COMPLETE 1.2 1.7 2.2
42 49
49
4

7-sales
8 7 1 2

41
3 47.1 47.3
48 47

47.2
28 28

45 36 27
35 Trasparent Shield

Foam Storage Paint Toolbox/Shelf


7 34

30 Box Storage 26
25 Legend
Pneumatic Access at location
Guide Rail 24 MANIFOLDS
BOXES
31 STANDS
14 40 ASSEMBLY
33 16
17
32 18 23.1

19

23
20

21 22