Cleveland Electric: Redesigning With An Eye To The Future
Written By Steve King

Atlanta’s Cleveland Electric had an organizational problem in their fab shop. The company has an extensive Space with roughly 70 skilled tradesmen and designers working in it. Over the years, however, the shop had become a makeshift storage room for excess materials and supplies.

Cleveland brought in eVolve to help redesign the fab shop to make it more efficient and safer for the workers, notes Andy Bauman, Cleveland’s fab shop manager, who has been with the company for 24 years. Bauman says that increasing utilization of the fab shop was a goal of the team, the customers and the company’s owners.

“The customers are demanding it, and so are the owners. Everybody sees the advantages of (updating the fab shop),” Bauman says.

With the fab shop, workers can catch and fix delivered elements that aren’t built to spec, saving time and money from having to fix the problems in the field.

“We get the problems out of the way. Panels come in wrong. Transformers come in wrong. We catch that on this end,” Bauman explains. “Contractors don’t have to have as many skilled workers on the job site. They can just install in the field. We keep the skilled people in here, and it’s just faster.”

With eVolve’s help, the reorganization of the shop will allow the tradesmen and -women at Cleveland Electric to work in a secure, stable and safer environment, away from the uncertainty of the job site, with the tools and materials they need to do the job.

“It’s a lot safer,” Bauman says. “It’s getting that safety, getting (fabricators) off the job site. That’s the most unsafe and unproductive place that we work.”

Mike Jensen, director of visual construction at Cleveland, concurs. Bringing projects into the shop provides a more conducive workspace.

“When you move to the prefab shop, you have a known quantity now,” Jensen says. “You’re removing some of the variables from the project.”

The controlled environment of the shop allows Cleveland to monitor the manufacture of the pre-fab elements to perform vital quality control checks, removing the risk that an improvised fix in the field may not perform as hoped. The organization of the shop helps the company to track the progress of the elements’ manufacture and keep general contractors updated on deliverables. This, in turn, allows the general contractor to better plan the job.

“It really helps the schedule,” Bauman observes, “and that’s where the general contractor starts to get excited.”

eVolve will help Cleveland design a shop featuring clear work areas, called work cells, where workers will have the tools and information needed to complete jobs and update their status. Pathways for forklifts and safe areas around machinery will be clearly marked and scrap material will be organized. Materials for upcoming jobs will be stored in designated areas until needed, and the shop will get a much-needed makeover. Stay tuned for an update.

Do you need a personalized review of your workspace? Are you looking for solutions for organizational and process challenges? Call your eVolve rep today for help. To learn more about Cleveland Electric’s fab shop redesign, click here.

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