Case Study: From Opportunity to Production in 4 Months!

How Arauco Executed a Major Expansion in Record Breaking Time with Trusted Partnerships.

Going into 2020 business was solid for Arauco who manufacturers wood products in Moncure, North Carolina.  During the previous year they completed an upgrade of their medium voltage motor control systems. It was through that project where a strong partnership with Electrical Equipment Company was formed.  When the pandemic hit business remained steady until the increase in residential building began to surge. 

Problem: Rise to the demand

Seemingly overnight a decision was made to increase their position in the moulding market.  This was great news for the supporting team and the area altogether as this meant new opportunities for many people.  What was less exciting was the timeline that the project would need to be completed in.  The goal was to have the new line installed and making production in September – 4 months away.

Solution: Delegate and dominate

Projects of this magnitude can easily take 12 months or longer but the strong team at Arauco took this challenge head on and went to work.  They began by working with trusted advisors that helped them succeed on other projects in the past.  EECO was called in to support the electrical infrastructure needs that the project would require.  This was an extremely high tempo environment, and they needed a partner that understood the goal and that had the same level of enthusiasm to get things done.

To start warehouse space was determined to be the best location for the new equipment.  Preparation work began by removing stored old equipment and layout designs would be reviewed to maximize space for the new machinery.  This area of the plant had to be completely redesigned including items such as lighting enhancements to be able to operate safely.

The new equipment had been specified but drawings were not available so an initial bill of materials would have to be scoped using the best information available.  This is where EECO was able to take the lead and give relief to the Arauco team.  After reviewing the available material EECO defined many of the electrical infrastructure items needed to provide the line sufficient power needs.  This included distribution panels and panelboards to tie everything together.  The new line would have its own motor control but ensuring the power distribution was efficiently designed was critical.

To give further perspective of the tempo of the project while the new line was being assembled by the mechanical contractor the electrical contractor was installing electrical runs.  Talk about working on top of each other!  It was this type of effort that was necessary to meet the required startup. 

When things happen, own it and fix it

Any project such as this will have headwinds and there were a few.  One instance was where a distribution panel had a manufacturing defect.  Instead of it being a headache EECO took ownership of the situation.  The factory was contacted with information around the issue and it was determined that a local satellite office would be able to make the corrections.  EECO’s team loaded the defective equipment that day, transported to the factory and delivered it back to the jobsite the next morning.  Talk about turnaround and achieving results!  The impact was huge, and that part of the line was able to be completed.

Expand your footprint.

After commissioning the line and working thru the inherent items that come with a startup Arauco began making molding in early September.  They were able to meet their 4-month goal and brought new jobs to the area. Since it was a new process for the plant there were learning curves but as with everything Arauco has faced they hit it head on and now have an extremely efficient line in production

This story shows the power of partnerships and what trust looks like in industry.  The team at Arauco had a big hairy audacious goal and they had the wisdom to realize in order to meet it they needed support.  Because of prior engagements they knew the EECO team would take a consultative approach to first understand what they were trying to achieve and work hand in hand to meet their goal together.  The next time you have a huge opportunity will you begin to worry if it is possible or do you have the assurance and confidence in your network to have partners ready to go to battle side by side with you?  Hats off to Arauco for a great achievement and for being a leader in industry.

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