Besides being a leading supplier of industrial automation components, SMC South Africa also offers value-added services. One of these is in-house control panel design and construction. This takes a labour intensive and time-consuming task away from customers who are not in the business of panel design and construction.
The local and international SMC production departments offer dedicated design facilities using the latest CAD package and have vast experience in panel layout and design. During the consultation process, all the panel requirements are captured and loaded as a unique project onto an internal project management system, EPICS. This system creates a project that manages customer data, drawings, communication, quotes and any other relevant information, and allocates a unique project number that can be accessed at any time during and after completion of the project. Each panel is given a unique part number that can be reordered at any time, and will be an exact replica of the original. Another important aspect is the correspondence log, which stores all communication between the sales engineer, the sales engineering department (SEG) and the local or international production department. The idea is to create a centralised database of all projects that can be accessed by any of the SMC subsidiaries worldwide. Project workflow is as follows:
1. Sales engineer captures information from the customer.
2. Sales engineer creates a project using EPICS and forwards on to the SEG.
3. SEG verifies project information and feasibility.
4. Project is sent to the production department.
5. Drawings are created and budget prices loaded.
6. Sales engineer presents drawings to the customer.
7. Drawings are accepted or modified as requested.
8. Signed drawings are loaded onto the project.
9. Official pricing is loaded onto the system.
10. Panel goes into production.
During production, strict control is adhered to, ensuring the high quality workmanship customers have come to expect from SMC. All completed panels are tested, checked against the final specifications and packaged for dispatch. Industries supported include automotive, packaging, pharmaceutical, mining, food and beverage, OEMs, and water and wastewater.
Other services offered by SMC South Africa include customised cylinders, local valve terminal and air service unit configuration and production, airline audits, and expert consultation on any of over 12 000 products.
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