Palram Creates Two Positions to Enhance Its LEAN Journey

Palram Americas, a manufacturer of polycarbonate and PVC sheets and products, started the LEAN journey two years ago. Ideas like continual improvement, delivering value and reducing waste were introduced to the employees and the LEAN culture began weaving through the processes of the company. As part of its LEAN journey, Palram developed a vision to align all departments to a common direction by using guiding principles aligned in six supporting pillars. These values are defined and measured across all departments as: a safety first culture, respect for people, delivering value to our customers, high-quality standards, continuous improvement and long-term profitability.

Palram has created two new positions in efforts to bring a sharper focus to its LEAN journey. The Continuous Improvement Manager role will be filled by Enrique Gonzalez. He will champion the Palram LEAN initiative and has already immersed himself in creating new processes and suggesting improvements. The Voice of Customer Manager position will be filled by Johana Gonzalez. Johana’s new role will be aligned with the “Delivering Value to our Customers” vision pillar. In this role, she will work across the organization to analyze customer metrics while making process improvement recommendations as Palram strives for continuous improvement of service levels.

Enrique Gonzalez has an Industrial Engineering degree with more than 27 years of various roles aligned with LEAN and continuous improvement in a manufacturing environment. Johana Gonzalez has been employed by Palram in various roles for more than 13 years. She is currently working towards a degree in Business Administration. Palram is proud to have both of them helping to guide the LEAN journey.

Roof Systems Contribute to Success of 2014 FIFA World Cup

The Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup is the king of soccer competitions, so it’s only appropriate that four of the 2014 venues are crowned with roof systems that are as strong as the competition inside the venues. Three venues feature lightweight tensile structures from Birdair and the fourth includes polycarbonate skylights from PALRAM.

Estadio Mineirão

Estadio Mineirão, built in 1965 and listed as a national monument of Brazil, underwent a three-year modernization project to prepare for hosting six of the FIFA World Cup matches.

Estadio Mineirão, built in 1965 and listed as a national monument of Brazil, underwent a three-year modernization project to prepare for hosting six of the FIFA World Cup matches.

Estadio Mineirão, built in 1965 and listed as a national monument of Brazil, underwent a three-year modernization project to prepare for hosting six of the FIFA World Cup matches. It was transformed into a modern stadium with a new tensile roofing system from Birdair. The 141,000-square-foot tensile roof was added to the concrete upper tier of the stadium to provide shelter for 70,000 spectators while meeting aesthetic, acoustic and environmental impact requirements.

Birdair fabricated and supplied TiO2-coated PTFE, a Teflon-coated woven fiberglass membrane for the facility. Taiyo Birdair do Brasil, a subsidiary of Birdair, was responsible for installing the PTFE tensile membrane. TiO2 (titanium dioxide), a non-toxic and flame-resistant coating allows fabric to break down any organic materials that settle on the membrane, such as dirt. It is capable of withstanding temperatures from -100 F to 500 F, is unaffected by UV rays, and requires less maintenance to retain its appearance due to its self-cleaning capabilities. Ultimately, this TiO2 membrane is an economic and environmentally sustainable renovation that will provide fans with much-needed comfort, as well as improve a national landmark.

Estádio Nacional

Estádio Nacional expanded its capacity from 42,200 to 70,042 to host seven World Cup matches.

Estádio Nacional expanded its capacity from 42,200 to 70,042 to host seven World Cup matches.

Estádio Nacional, originally built in 1974 and located in Brazil’s capital, also underwent major reconstruction for the World Cup, expanding its capacity from 42,200 to 70,042 to host seven World Cup matches. Birdair fabricated and supplied the PTFE fiberglass membrane, clamping and hardware for the facility. The consortium Taiyo Birdair do Brasil ­Entap ­Protende was responsible for installing the entire roof’s steel and cable structure, including the PTFE outer roof and liner membrane. The project involved building a new lower tier and retaining the upper tier with the addition of a new 920,000-square-foot double-layer suspended tensile roof.

Fonte Nova Stadium

Fonte Nova Stadium's oval-shape roof design will provide cover for 50,000 spectators during each of the six games it hosts during the tournament.

Fonte Nova Stadium’s oval-shape roof design will provide cover for 50,000 spectators during each of the six games it hosts during the tournament.

Birdair, through Taiyo Birdair do Brasil (TBB) Ltda., additionally was awarded a subcontract for the roof construction of Fonte Nova Stadium in Salvador, Brazil. The stadium is modeled on its predecessor, the Estadio Octavio Mangabeira, and features three levels of seating with a view of the magnificent Dique do Tororó. Its oval-shape roof design will provide cover for 50,000 spectators during each of the six games hosted at Fonte Nova during the tournament.

Birdair’s project role consisted of detailing, fabricating and supplying PTFE, a Teflon-coated woven fiberglass membrane that makes up the facility’s lightweight tensile roofing system. Taiyo Birdair do Brazil fully installed the PTFE membrane for the 301,399-square-foot tensile roof. The facility’s tensile roof provides natural daylighting, solar shading and minimal maintenance, as well as contributes to the unique aesthetics of the new Fonte Nova Stadium.

PTFE fiberglass membrane structures have received increased global recognition as green living is becoming more important. Upon completion, Estádio Mineirão and Estádio Nacional applied for LEED certification, which is given to projects that use less materials and increase daylighting to conserve resources and increase sustainability.

Plácido Castelo

PALRAM qualified for its second consecutive World Cup games, this time covering the Plácido Castelo stadium with SUNTUF 2-millimeter-thick roofing.

The Plácido Castelo Stadium in Fortaleza, Brazil, features SUNTUF corrugated polycarbonate.

The Plácido Castelo Stadium in Fortaleza, Brazil, is popularly known as “Castelão”, part of a local tradition to nickname popular stadiums.

The Plácido Castelo Stadium in Fortaleza, Brazil, is popularly known as “Castelão”, part of a local tradition to nickname popular stadiums. Owned by the Brazilian government and inaugurated in 1973, the stadium was revamped for the 2014 World Cup.

“The Palram Project Support Team was given the task of providing an architectural solution for the roof skylight. The proposal implemented was a 7,000-square-meter transparent front edge roofing specially designed to allow natural daylight on the pitch,” says Tal Furman, Palram chief engineer.

The solution offered by PALRAM was based on its continuing worldwide stadium roofing trend using SUNTUF transparent corrugated polycarbonate sheets, as a front edge covering, providing a perfect cost effective watertight solution.

A 7,000-square-meter transparent front edge from PALRAM was specially designed to allow natural daylight on the pitch.

A 7,000-square-meter transparent front edge was specially designed to allow natural daylight on the pitch.

For the Castelão stadium roof, PALRAM specified 9-meter single length SUNTUF corrugated polycarbonate sheets that cover the entire roof length, thus ensuring long term transparency for the skylight and reduced risk for leakage.

The Arena Castelão will host six World Cup matches, including a first round match between Brazil and Mexico and one of the quarter-finals. It was the first Brazilian Stadium to obtain the LEED certification. Since its re-inauguration, the Arena Castelão has hosted more than 50 matches of the local league and of the Brazil Cup. The stadium also hosted matches of the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup and world-class concerts from artists like Paul McCartney and Beyoncé.

As part of PALRAM preparation for the World Cup, a polycarbonate roofing solutions professional seminar was held in front of Brazil top architects, engineers and construction professionals by Mr. Michel Allouch, Palram V.P. Marketing and development. As a result of this seminar, the same solution was implemented by PALRAM project team as well at the new Palmeiras Stadium in São Paulo, although this stadium is not hosting the World Cup games.

For over 50 years, PALRAM has been a global leader in manufacturing extruded thermoplastic sheets, offering an extensive product line for consumer, architectural, construction, sign & display, and agricultural applications.

The 20th FIFA World Cup is scheduled for June 12 through July 13, 2014 in 12 different Brazil host cities.