Power Inverter Platform Success Story
Satcon is a leading provider of utility-scale power conversion solutions for the renewable energy market. Their core design utilizes a distinctive approach to deliver fully integrated inverter platforms that are easily installed in solar panel farms.
In 2012, Satcon engaged Columbia Tech to take on and ramp-up production of their Prism Platform, a 24’x8′ 30,000lb, 1 or 1.25 megawatt medium-voltage (MV) inverter solution optimized for utility-scale solar PV installations.
Key to Satcon’s selection criteria was finding a partner who could offer a rapid, controlled ramp-up of production, provide uncompromising quality control as demanded by the Utility industry and serve as Satcon’s direct order fulfillment partner.
Adding further challenges to the short cycle ramp-up of production was the need to transfer existing Satcon supply chains to Columbia Tech for direct material management as well as become Satcon’s drop ship location for overseas supplied materials. Irrespective of the source of supply, Columbia Tech was charged with providing front line responsibility to assure received materials met Satcon quality standards. In essence, Columbia Tech was to become Satcon’s full service manufacturing arm.
Knowledge Transfer and Facilities Readiness
Coghlin Companies’ contract manufacturing division, Columbia Tech, initiated a co-build at the customer’s location and subsequently at Coghlin Companies’ Westborough, MA facility. Whenever possible, Columbia Tech’s philosophy is to work collaboratively with our customers to quickly understand and assume responsibility for the required sourcing, assembly, and testing of the product being transitioned. Coghlin Companies’ team of Senior Assemblers, Test Technicians, Inspectors, Manufacturing Engineers and Program Manager worked with the customer’s documentation while importing the same into Columbia Tech’s documentation control system thereby assuring a smooth transition from in-house manufacturing to Columbia Tech. Due to the critical personal safety requirements of working with Medium Voltage (MV) transformers, Columbia Tech in conjunction with Satcon assured all personnel were properly trained and production facilities qualified.
Successful Production Ramp-up and Direct Order Fulfillment
Within one month, Columbia Tech was able to initiate production and subsequently shipped 15 platforms over a 13 week period. Key to building a volume production process was creating a progressive flow assembly line utilizing riggers equipment as the primary method for material handling. The resulting production line and associated capacity allowed for a threefold increase in production over the customer’s in-house capacity. Concurrent with this production capability was the creation of an end-user staging area where all platform quality and test reports were reviewed and approved prior to shipment.
Through its collaborative customer engagement model, Columbia Tech was able to quickly take over all production, quality and order fulfillment management tasks from Satcon and allow their resources to concentrate on bringing the next generation of Utility scale power conversion solutions to market.
From Concept to Commercialization, you can trust Coghlin Companies with all of your design, engineering, prototyping, capital equipment contract manufacturing, logistic, field support and refurbishment requirements. Coghlin Companies provides Concept to Commercialization services to entrepreneurs, Fortune 500 companies and all segments in between. With each of those segments Coghlin Companies has earned a reputation for dependability, versatility, and quality. Success has been the result of Coghlin Companies’ ability to establish a close partnership that generates significant value and ROI for each client. What are your organization’s needs? How can Coghlin Companies help you achieve your objectives?