Although the manufacturing of components is physically one of the later phases of a design and construct project, as a process it is actually taken into consideration in the very early stages of design. The materials and processes to be used, their cost and the quality of each element all impact the design outcome.
Manufacturing options need to be considered with two important things in mind: whether they will achieve the design concept and if there are any inherent risks that need to be considered. As well, the processes and suppliers need to be considered, aesthetic and production concerns are addressed and warranty phases must all be deliberated. TILT’s commitment to delivering a project that will stand the test of time is front of mind throughout the design and manufacturing stages and absolute care is taken to piece together all the right elements to ensure this commitment is fulfilled.
The responsibility of coordinating the manufacturing team lays with TILT and we rely on our previous experience, research capabilities, working relationships and knowledge to choose the right suppliers. It’s a big commitment from every supplier we appoint – and there are many. The production of one of the one hundred and eight louvre elements for the UTS Central project comprises more than 30 major individual components from as many different suppliers.
These parts include items such as aluminium cladding and coatings, motors, gearboxes, drive shafts, bearings, bolts and so forth to make up the whole and the TILT team manage this team of disparate suppliers to ensure the finished product is manufactured, delivered and installed on time, on budget and to a high standard. Delivering bespoke features such as this that are highly technical and complex requires multiple phases beyond design, and prototyping, procurement, assembly, testing, manufacturing can take several months of co-ordination to deliver the products in a resolved state.
From each of our manufacturing suppliers, TILT physically takes responsibility for specification and procurement of each element before the team internally assemble, test and install. We take absolute responsibility for the pieces because we are physically building these products ourselves.
With the UTS Central project, the challenge has been in sourcing the extensive bill of materials that best suit the design brief, and in sourcing them coordinating production with delivery as the building levels are completed. Triggering an order process sets in motion the various lead times that each individual component is ruled by to get each piece to TILT’s workshop for the build.
This ‘just in time’ approach to production allows the team to stay on program as they build, test, deliver and install the 108 custom pieces, each of which takes several days to commission.
Our approach is to complete as much of the assembly in our workshops as possible. Construction sites can be difficult to predict and environmental conditions may impact the efficiency of installation. We bring the elements we are responsible for to site as a complete product to avoid delays as much as possible.
This project continues to be an enjoyable one for the TILT team, and we’re looking forward to supporting the construction team with the staggered approach to production and installation early in 2019.