Every Solar Innovations project begins with a need. Our sales team provides custom and standard solutions, bringing dreams to reality. By working with the customer to compile all details for their project, information is gathered so that the Estimating team can generate a formal quotation. Estimating provides the customer with a budget, and preliminary drawings in isometric form so that the customer can visualize the end product. For structural projects, or those with very specific design or performance requirements, our Engineering Team also gets involved at this stage in the process. Once the customer decides to move forward with their project, estimating transitions the customer’s information to our Project Management team. Our Project Management team makes sure that every detail of a project is taken care of by overseeing each project’s progression through the remaining departments. PMs are the critical line of communication between the customer and the Solar Innovations production team and they remain involved with the project through delivery or installation. Our drafting and cultist teams take the customer’s dream to a new level, making sure all requests are visually displayed through architectural drawings. Once the customer confirms all main components of a project are included, our team further works to ensure drawings take theoretical renderings and provide enough information for physical production. After our drafting and cut list teams generate all drawings for a project and the customer approves of the direction, the project moves to production. At this stage, our inventory team will pull all materials needed to assemble the finished system. Since our aluminum extrusions, glass panels, and some other components are purchased from outside suppliers, our purchasing and receiving departments make sure that each piece arrives onsite in time to maintain the pre-approved production schedule.
Much of the hardware and custom parts required for these systems are created by our machining department. Depending on the product, this stage may involve cutting extrusions to length or punching holes in extrusions, while other projects may require small parts, such as hinges or handles. Some functions of our machining department are simple, requiring just a few cuts, and some are quite complex, with multiple operations and assemblies going into the finished product. While some of the extrusions used on our systems arrive with anodized finishes, we also offer custom colors. Whether a project requires extrusions pulled by our inventory team or parts created by our machining department, many of these parts are sent through our in-house powder coating and painting area for standard or custom finishes. Once a finish is applied to the material, thermal breaks are inserted into some of the material to increase its performance in the field. During this process, our team could either thread vinyl pieces through the gaps in the aluminum extrusion or could fill that area with liquid. Now that all pieces required for the project have been protected with a finish, the materials enter the fabrication stage. Specializing in Structural or Door and Window products, our team pre-assembles all projects prior to shipment to ensure we meet our own quality standards and the customer’s requests. Our team compiles each panel, often with glass present, to ensure that everything assembles as designed. When a project involves a new or custom component, our R&D team will create an onsite mockup to test the system’s functionality. As part of this process, our Engineering and R&D Teams could complete impact or water pressure testing to ensure we meet or beat industry standards, as well as code requirements for the product’s final destination.
Once a system’s functionality is proven, we pull together all necessary accessories, including hardware, fasteners, and installation instructions to ship to the jobsite. Our team builds custom crates to ensure products are properly protected during shipment. After the components of a project are shipped to a jobsite, the installation team will use the drawings to assemble the system in its final location. Our team installs approximately 10% of all projects that leave the facility. In the event the jobsite is outside of a 6-hour radius of our Pine Grove, PA facility, our team may work with outside glazing contractors to properly install each system. During the process of a Solar Innovations project, there are several departments operating behind the scenes to make sure everything moves smoothly. Our support teams include Accounting, Human Resources, Administration, Marketing, Maintenance, IT, and Programming.
Everyone of our team members contributes to our success as leaders in the architectural glazing industry. Our team is motivated by being the best at what we do and the best place to work. From our suppliers and dealers to those who work at our facility, each member of our Solar Innovations Family is crucial to making the impossible possible for our customers each and every day.