The Life of an Order – ClearSpan & Manufactured Products
Last November, we posted the first of our “Life of an Order” blog series, which discussed the process in which our non-manufactured items are picked, packaged and shipped, often times all within the same day the order was placed. While a large majority of our 30,000 plus products fall into the non-manufactured category, some of our best selling products are designed and manufactured by our highly skilled team of engineers, right here in the USA. Larger items, such as a Pro-Solar StarTM Greenhouse, FodderPro Feed System, hydroponic system, ClearSpan Fabric Structure and more, require special care and attention from a collection of specialists, including design teams, engineers and specialized sales representatives, all of which ensure that your product is built to your exact specifications.
Our manufactured items follow the same ordering process as our non-manufactured products, which you can read more about in our Non-Manufactured Items blog. With these products however, rather than a “batch” being printed and sent to the warehouse for picking, they are pulled aside, printed and given to our manufacturing team. Manufacturing then creates a work order, which includes all parts that must be manufactured in the order that they will be needed. After our manufacturing team has completed their work order, they can determine the “lead time” necessary for the product. Lead time is the amount of time that our manufacturing team needs to produce, pack and ship the product.
Once the order has been assessed by the manufacturing team, production is ready to begin. During this time, the manufacturing ticket is sent through each department, so all involved departments know what they must do to complete the project. For example, when manufacturing one of our non-engineered ClearSpan buildings, the manufacturing ticket is first sent to the pipe area, so they can determine if any pipes need to be bent. The ticket then moves to the welding department, so they can begin making all the necessary brackets, feet, mounting plates and so on. Our covers department receives the ticket next and begins producing the necessary covers, end panels, curtains and any other fabric pieces that have been requested for the structure. Once the manufacturing ticket has moved through all departments, and all the required pieces have been produced, the clerical team prints a new packing ticket for the warehousing department, so the order can be picked, packed and shipped as normal.
Our larger manufactured items require longer lead times simply because of the amount of work required to produce them. For a custom engineered ClearSpan Hercules Truss Arch Building, our team of engineers must first design the structure to meet necessary wind- and snow-load requirements before a manufacturing ticket can even be printed. Our team of engineers work with SolidWorks®, a computer-aided design and drafting (CADD) program, to build a virtual model of the building’s frame. Each member of our Engineering and Design Team meet all Certified SolidWorks® Associates (CSWA), American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE), National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) and American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE ) requirements, so your building is built with high professionalism and great attention to detail. For a Hercules Truss Arch Building, after the engineering team has designed the building to meet all safety standards, a manufacturing ticket is printed for the project, and the manufacturing teams can begin work.
Our Truss Arch Buildings also require great attention to detail in the manufacturing process. Because of this, our manufacturing department is CAN/CAS-A660 and CWB W47.1 certified, which ensures that our buildings meet both American and Canadian safety regulations. We are also proud members of Industrial Fabrics Association International (IF AI) and Fabric Structures Association (FSA), which enable us to remain highly competitive by allowing us to monitor changes within the fabric cover industry as soon as they occur.
For the manufacturing of each truss, metal must be bent, then welded to create sections that when combined, create our round, truss arch frame that has incredible strength and durability. To complete such a large task within such a small window of time, a robotic weld machine is used to build each truss section. Once a section is assembled, it is removed from the machine for on-site welders to add finishing touches to vital connection points. The truss sections are then inspected by our certified weld inspectors to ensure strength, durability and safety. Once all truss sections and necessary brackets, mounting plates and accessories are complete, the frame is packaged, matched with the necessary accessories and shipped.
We are proud to be an American-made company. We strive to offer the widest selection of farming and agriculture-related products possible, but we take special pride in our manufactured items. From your initial conversation with a greenhouse, hydroponic or truss arch specialist to the extreme attention to detail given throughout the manufacturing process, our hard work is unmatched and with all of our certifications and inspections, we can ensure your products are built to last.