A Variety of Fabrications and Weldments in Batch Flow
For over 25 years, Pickwick Manufacturing Services has worked with an agricultural customer needing weldments and fabrications for production and repair. With a blanket purchase agreement and 18-month forecast of the customer’s production and field replacement needs, Pickwick provides quantities of 1 to 100 per shipment from a list of 295 metal weldments and fabrications, when and as needed. The total volume of pieces involved is upwards of 50,000 parts per year.
The specific items range from sheet metal covers to brackets, weldments to beams, doors to supports. The dimensions vary from 1-inch square brackets to 6’x6’x4’ urethane tank supports in steel, stainless steel and aluminum. The specialized capabilities applied to this customer’s pieces include laser blanking of sheet and plate metal and 27-axis laser cutting of structural steel members up to 27 foot overall length. Forming, machining, welding assembly and finish are also required for some fabrications. Finishes range from raw and ground smooth to plated and powder or wet painted.
Pickwick ensures continual ISO 9000:2008 quality control monitoring with full inspection to AWS requirements before shipment. Over the years, Pickwick has also assisted in the redesign of a number of different assemblies to improve their performance or lower their costs through ease of manufacturing.
Per the customer’s request, many of these fabrications and weldments are shipped in returnable containers, thereby reducing waste and increasing efficiency. The items ship to eight different North American, South American and European assembly plants and parts warehouses.
While these small quantity batch builds cannot be as efficient as Pickwick’s continuous flow processes, clients still benefit from the other in-house expertise available to supplement, improve or fully shoulder your design, manufacturing, supply chain and logistics operations. You may be able to benefit your bottom line with value-added capabilities, a scheduling edge or cost reductions.
If you’re interested in learning more about the heavy fabrications that Pickwick produces for clients in the wind turbine, agriculture and heavy equipment industries, feast your eyes on our Heavy Fabrications Gallery. Our 54-foot ceilings, open bays and 45-ton overhead cranes make nearly anything possible. Here’s a taste of what you’ll find:
Please give us a call if you have questions about how Pickwick can help you produce your heavy metal fabrications.
A decades-old Australian company approached Pickwick Manufacturing Company about applying their expertise to the manufacture and distribution of their golf greens roller. The product is distributed internationally to golf clubs and sports complexes to keep their greens and fields consistently smooth.The customer had a goal to realign its resources from manufacturing to product development and marketing. They also knew they would benefit from the competitive advantages of lean manufacturing and technologically advanced equipment only attainable through high volume manufacture. Pickwick has these capabilities and specialized equipment setups.
From the design stage through supply chain management through final delivery, Pickwick assisted the customer in all stages of manufacture. Pickwick’s engineering team assisted their design engineers in making functional modifications and design improvements for manufacturability. Pickwick fabricates all steel parts and assembles, tests and ships the finished units. The supply chain for other raw materials is in Pickwick’s hands, as well, so fiberglass hoods, drive components and electrical components are brought in to be assembled with the steel parts.
Pickwick has the advanced manufacturing equipment to create all parts, including laser blanking, 2D and 3D structural steel, brake press forming, machining and welding. Powder paint and zinc plating is applied per the customer’s exact specifications. The assembled greens rollers are tested, then crated and shipped to top golf courses and other sports fields around the world.
The continuous flow of 300 to 500 units per year is regulated to meet seasonal market demand. Pickwick manages it all with ease from its location in the heart of the Midwest.
In 2011, Pickwick Manufacturing Services supplied over 4,000 individual fabricated parts to supply our clients’ production lines. Simultaneously, we also built the following “mixed model” assemblies and finished goods:
- 183 kits of approx 15 fabrications required to build Rock Screening Boxes utilizing our “Dynamic Kitting” process where the client specified 10-18 individual part numbers from over 350 in our system to fulfill a specific sale. Pickwick maintains Kanban stock of the most common parts and builds the balance to order as required. These parts, originally for local use, are now delivered to an assembly plant in Michigan at a rate of up to 2 kits a day, 40 per month. (2 Kits shown)
- 3,300 Straw Spreaders, fully assembled and plumbed with hydraulic motors, in two models for “plug-and-play” installation in new combines rolling off a Nebraska assembly line.
- 324 Single and Dual Precision Instrumentation Housings (94 different variations up to 40 ft. long) with computer-controlled drive systems that carry sensing equipment across a product flow; after running them in and testing their accuracy within 0.012 inches in all three axes, the units are export crated for delivery to California where 80% of them are exported.
- 110 mobile Mechanic’s Laser Alignment System Control Cabinets that we helped the customer design.
- 86 12 ft. dia. Electrical Converter Platform Assemblies complete with 8 ft. legs for field installation in the base of Wind Turbines
- 144 individual units of Pulse Jet Bag Houses, Fabric Bag Houses, Water Mist Dust Collectors and Particulate Cartridge Collectors that were fully assembled, plumbed and shipped direct for dealer erection at end-user’s facilities throughout North America. Cartridge Collectors range from 4 (shown) to 60 cells.
- 296 units of 19 models of Trailers and Stationary Frame Weldments for industrial pumping equipment from a dedicated cell that is continuously producing to fulfill the client’s most recent sale, not their stock.
The variety of our work is nearly limitless. Please see our Galleries and Testimonials for a closer examination of our capabilities and strengths.
Your ability to offer your customers reduced lead times may be a major competitive advantage in today’s markets. As Pickwick’s familiarity with your product and volumes grows, it usually enables improved delivery times. However, our unparalleled expertise in “mixed model, single piece flow” offers considerably more improvement through our flexibility and agility.
If your product is “same as, but different” in features such as size, component mix, accessories, options or the like, it might lend itself to final assembly from common Kanban components — with or without needing anything specifically built to the end user’s order. Forecasting is important in this fast track supply process, but we have many examples of how we create customized production scheduling processes that have enabled clients to offer that edge for over a decade.
- Made to Order: A long-time, single-product client moved a higher volume, complex product line to our care. We accepted the responsibility to build whichever specific model of this large assembly their end customer selects, complete with its options, and ship in 4 weeks or less. With over 800 possible variations, we build each unit from scratch in a dedicated cell with an output capacity adjusted in concert with the customer’s projected sales volume. No components above hardware and raw material are stocked in advance, and the final assembly is shipped painted with decals applied, ready to erect.
- Delivery Coordination: Over the years, we have perfected coordination of deliveries with our customer’s true needs. One customer’s ERP projects assembly line needs as much as a year in advance for the several hundred unique parts on Pickwick’s Blanket Order, but each plant has limited space and unforeseen needs. Pickwick plans to the schedule, but ships to verbal instructions and receipt of Kanban containers.
Want to learn more? Keep reading about our services as we continue to post about these topics:
- Lean Manufacturing [LINK]
- Testing and Certification [LINK]
- Drop Shipping
- Supply Chain Maintenance
We’ve added a blog! More to come soon!