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over 3 years ago by Elk Recruitment

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 the 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 issues,

  •       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 appropriate 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.

So, is your internal/external supply chain ready for unitized curtain walling?