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2 months ago by Elk Recruitment

Unitized Curtain Walling and Supply Chain Management

Along with an excellent design
team with a design for manufacture mind set, one of the other main key
ingredients to executing a successful unitized curtain walling project is
making sure you have in place and BEFORE you start an excellently controlled well-oiled
supply chain.  A unitized curtain walling
project needs to be visualised and mapped as an assembly line starting at
estimation and running right through design, procurement, manufacturing,
installation to hand over on site.  In
order for the project to be successful this assembly line must be managed meticulously
with as much precision and planning as an automotive line. With unitized curtain
walling you really are “only as good as its weakest link”

Its only unitized curtain walling, a statement you perish on!

A unitized curtain walling panel
is a completed assembled section of the external envelope which may contain
some or all of the following curtain walling parts, Aluminium Profiles, Steel Profiles, Steel inserts, Aluminium Panels,
Galvanised Panels, Insulation, EPDM, Glass, Gaskets, Steel brackets, Aluminium
Brackets, Fixings and Sealants
.   To
complicate matters even more, all of these parts can come from different
suppliers from different countries with different lead times and some
components may have multiple steps to go through in order for it to be fit for
purpose such as fabrication then powder coating, not to mention that you have a
curing time when structurally bonding glass to the unitized frames and they
must remain horizontal. The fun part is ensuring that despite all this, all of
the required components must end up on the production line at the same time with
the drawings
, otherwise the unitized panel even without only one screw cannot
be completed.

What happens when your unitized curtain walling supply chain is

“Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail” it
really is that simple.  Unlike stick
curtain walling, a poorly managed unitized curtain walling supply chain usually
shows up first in the factory which can result in some or all of the following

Production line is running only in some cells,
its running slowly or fully stopped

Incomplete unitized Panels scattered throughout
the factory with missing components taking up space

Double handling unitized panels in the factory,
stacking them until correct materials finally arrive

Overtime goes through the roof trying to pull
the project back in

Panels arriving to site in the wrong sequence
that cannot be installed in the right sequence

Complete confusion, site ends up telling the
factory which panels they need first, Quality suffers

Cash flow on project goes out the window (excuse
the pun) due to delays

Client not happy, staff not happy

You lose future business

Then why unitized curtain walling?

The benefit of unitized curtain walling
to traditional stick curtain wall when you get it right is twofold, the
installation costs associated with Unitized are far less than traditional stick
as there is far less installation involved and it gets installed in a far
shorter period of time traditionally 15 panels – 30 panels per day, the Quality
of installation is also far better as most of the installation work is actually
carried out in a controlled factory environment before it goes to site.

Is your internal/external supply
chain ready for unitized curtain walling?