Rackam's new production location in Valcourt. Photo Philippe Gosselin
Rackam manufactures most of the components of their parabolic solar panel panels, including the capture line and reflective mirrors of its sensors.The former Rackam production site was separated into two premises, one on Laval Street in Bromptonville and the other a street further on Olivia-Turgeon Street. These two premises, with a combined surface area of 4800 sq. Ft., enabled the completion of numerous projects such as the production of parabolic solar panels in the Alain Lemaire solar park at Cascades. But given the size of their next contracts, the beginning of the year Rackam decided to move its production premises to Valcourt. The much larger dimensions of this new building will allow Rackam to carry out projects of a much larger size.
Interview with Jérôme Durand, Rackam's new production manager
Jérôme, why have you changed the premises for Rackam's production?
The upcoming projects for Rackam will require a much larger production capacity than those in the past and our new S30 sensor will be even larger than other Rackam sensors: more than 4 meters high and 9 meters wide per sensor. Moreover, for the first time, we will be carrying out several projects and several types of sensors simultaneously, which, of course, will require more space. The new production site will be much larger and we will be able to install a crane in this new plant to facilitate material handling. A 3200 sq. Ft. Mezzanine will also divide the sections of work. There will also be an office space for the executive staff. We will keep the facility on Laval Street until July to facilitate the move, but the plant in Valcourt should be fully operational within a few weeks.
What change in the pace of production are we expecting?
On Laval Street in Bromptonville, we could only produce 3 or 4 mirrors a day. In the new plant, we will double the capacity of our molds and so we will be able to produce up to 8 mirrors a day at a minimum. I am currently analyzing the design of our production to improve it to be able to produce up to 12 mirrors per day. We will have two teams of molders and welders, led by a foreman and in production periods we aim to produce 6 days a week, 12 hours a day.
What experience do you have in the production domain?
From 1999 to 2010, I worked as a manufacturing engineer at IBM Canada. I was also responsible for continuous improvement to reduce production cycle times, speed up the assembly line, and so on. From 2012 to 2016, I worked as a major investment project manager for the ArcelorMittal mining company. More specifically, I have led multi-million dollar projects to support the increase in production capacity of this world-renowned group. I worked between Fermont, Port-Cartier and Sherbrooke throughout this period. In 2017, I chose Rackam to help meet the new challenges facing this young company in Sherbrooke. It is a position with a lot of responsibility and I am motivated by the projects that are being prepared.
Interview by Johan Gass, project manager for web communications at Rackam