Today’s competitive environment means that companies need to use all of the tools at their disposal to stay ahead in the market. Increased use of technology means that companies can operate more effectively, using time, money, and resources wisely. Having a strong connection with technology means that a company is ready to take on the challenges of tomorrow.
James Morgan, the President and CEO of Worcester Air Conditioning, has been at the forefront of technological change in the sheet metal industry. His company fabricates and installs sheet metal ductwork, focusing on major construction projects in eastern New England. Morgan explains how his company is taking advantage of the newest technologies while preserving its high production values.
Worcester Air’s manufacturing floor is fully automated. Using factory floor automation, work can be done quickly and accurately. Automated manufacturing equipment also has the benefit of shorter lead times.
Factory floor automation is a growing practice with roots in the automotive industry. Sheet metal automation is becoming more commonplace, but not all companies have invested in automation their processes like Worcester Air Conditioning.
Worcester Air Conditioning’s major equipment, its plasma cutter, coil line and water let liner cutter all get their fabrication information from downloaded electronic CAD drawings.
Lean Manufacturing Processes
Worcester Air Conditioning has practiced lean manufacturing since 2010. Lean manufacturing saves money, time, and raw materials. By optimizing the flow of materials, machinery, and employees, lean manufacturers focus on reducing waste of materials and time in the manufacturing process.
In the process of lean manufacturing, the entire company is involved. Employees from all levels are encouraged to make suggestions that will affect the flow of work. Internal departments work on idea generation boards, creating a path forward for more efficient operation.
In 2018, Worcester Air redesigned its fabrication shop in a design created by shop floor employees. Since shop floor employees have the best knowledge of the process, it is only logical that they are consulted when setting up the manufacturing floor.
In the design process, computers are heavily used. Using 3D BIM models to design the layout of HVAC ducts means that the process is faster and more precise. The focus is on getting the work done right the first time, making sure that the building tenants will always be comfortable and that the airflow is healthy.
Design software enables Worcester Air to design the optimal system of ducts, bends, and returns. Ductwork contractors know that any missteps in the design of the system can lead to energy loss and other serious problems.
Worcester Air has created ductwork projects for many prominent buildings in New England. Projects at UMass Boston, Framingham State, and Berklee College of Music challenged the company to create innovative ductwork designs. The ductwork systems in these new and remodeled buildings represent industrial leadership.
Through its use of technology and lean manufacturing processes, Worcester Air has been able to make a significant impact on the HVAC construction landscape in eastern New England. Working on high-profile projects, the company has expanded its impact into the office, laboratory, hospital and high-rise residential markets. Morgan and his colleagues have been valuable members of the sheet metal industry for many years. They are dedicated to serving their customers with the right duct systems for the job.
As the President and CEO, James Morgan is a leader in making sure that the company operates to the highest standard. Morgan is a Dartmouth College graduate with a degree in Government. He worked in various industries including retail, food production, and publishing before turning his focus on manufacturing and construction. He has been the leader of Worcester Air since 2008.
While the manufacturing industry is changing, companies that keep up with the latest trends in design, automation, and lean practices will be ready to take on tomorrow’s challenges.