Best factory

Traco manufacturing plant
Sahely Mukerji
September 24, 2009

Traco production facility in Cranberry Township, Pa.

Traco’s production facility in Cranberry Township, Pa., has a 1-million-square-foot footprint and houses an advanced vertically integrated process for manufacturing architectural windows and doors. Manufacturing is divided into three processes: glass processing, aluminum extrusion and final assembly. The facility has three aluminum extrusion presses; an anodizing and paint line that offers color, finish and design options; and nine assembly lines that form finished products from finished aluminum, glass and components. The vertical integration achieves unmatched quality and delivery levels.

The company incorporates the philosophy of sustainability and responsible manufacturing through techniques that reduce the use of energy and materials, and contribute points for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification, while minimizing waste and emissions.

This year, the manufacturing facility incorporated three new initiatives following Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma principles: new assembly line layout and 5S integration; Production Part Approval Process; and In-Process Inspection and Final Product Audits.
The goal of the new layout is to improve product flow throughout the assembly area. Also as part of the new layout, assembly lines are undertaking 5S principles by eliminating waste, clearly marking areas for tools, WIP and finished products.

“Our ability to extrude and finish aluminum, fabricate, temper, laminate, insulate glass and final window assembly, all under one roof, allows for total control of all elements of quality for the manufacturing process,” says Chris Randall, vice president of manufacturing, Traco.

“When discussing excellence in a manufacturing facility, there are some fundamental guiding principles,” says Rob Struble, Crystal Achievement Award judge and business communications manager, growth initiatives and performance glazing, PPG Industries Inc., Pittsburgh. “Lean, 5S and Six Sigma show a commitment to disciplined process control. These, coupled with a commitment to sustainability, comprise the cornerstones of modern manufacturing. Traco’s employee process ownership, PPAP and IPA/FPA show how thoroughly quality programs reach through their processes.”

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