1. At what stages in the brick production process is inventory held?
The Triangle Brick Company has old fashion craftsmanship since 1960, with technical ingenuity to create brick with exceptional purity and quality. The beginning of the brick manufacturing process starts with mining the abundant Triassic shell, or clay that is found on the side. These are then transported to the plant where it is dumped into primary crasher. Since the clay is so hard, dry and in such large pieces, they are crushed into smaller sizes and then transported to the raw materials storage building where there are enough raw materials for two weeks; in this stage the raw materials are held as inventory. After that the raw material goes through various stages. The clay is crashed and converted into flour like texture, and this flour like clay is mixed with water and then the next process is to extract the air from the clay-water mix by vacuum. Finally the clay is forced to performing devices called the dye. The bricks are then produced from the trimmed and textured clay from the dye. Afterwards the brick is colored, the colors range from deep birch red to warm earth tones to cool pastas. Then the bricks are cut into the sizes and thickness that is required or demanded. They also do flashing to obtain a dark brick and create the range of colors that occurs at the last firing stage. The drying, firing and cooling are done which take up to 57 hours. Then when the brick is completed they are automatically indexed into another holding area to wait for packaging; here the process held the inventory before packaging.
2. To what extent does Triangle use information technology in the inventory control process?
Information technology plays a very important role in Triangle Brick Company. Their innovative uses of automated computerized equipment, has brought vast improvements in the way they craft buyer, inspect and deliver their brick. They use computer screens and powerful caramels when loading and scoping the raw materials and dumping it into the hot pot to begin the process of brine in clay. They also use the information technology in cutting the bricks, because after the brick is produced the brick column is then cut into different sizes and pieces according to the requirements and demands. Thus the information technology makes it much easier in cutting the bricks, for adjusting the machines to cut the bricks into different sizes. The information technology also helps in moving the bricks from one location to another within the machine during the process. The stages where the bricks are placed in the kiln follows a process which involves drying, firing and cooling taking approximately 57 hours, are also controlled by information technology to regulate temperature and control in order to produce brick of superior quality.