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| Words: 1104 | Submitted: 01-Dec-2011
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DescriptionOpen university nortel work
The Nortel operations team is functionally responsible for producing components and component sub-assemblies to meet both specific customer orders and to replenish stock of finished goods to pre-defined levels. At this point, the operations director passes you a copy of the high level process flow (included in the Nortel brief in Block One) and indicates the area marked ‘Systems House and Unassigned Finished Goods’. Nortel has two principal System Houses: one in Northern Ireland and the second in northern France.
Recently, there have been a number of changes to the sequencing and responsibilities for particular aspects of work. Systems Houses are no longer responsible for manufacturing: this is outsourced now. All component manufacturing and some minor component and assembly level builds are subcontracted to various low cost Contract Manufacturers. Also, some installation work carried out previously at customers’ sites now happens at the Systems Houses. This includes network testing (now known as Factory Acceptance Testing or FAT) and cabinet assembly, now carried out as part of ‘Systems Integration Fulfilment’ (known as SIF). SIF involves building customised networks from outsourced components. Both acceptance testing and cabinet assembly activities used to be carried out by network installation engineers. Though the company is no longer primarily a manufacturing company, it is still very much product-led.
Nortel produce networks based on five different technology types: Intelligent Internet, Voice over IP (VoIP), Wireless Internet, Optical Metro and Optical Long Haul. Typically, optical network builds require a high degree of product customisation. They are an extremely high cost product and quality is paramount. Nortel are particularly proud of their excellence in terms of quality and have followed the EFQM Excellence model since 1994. They have ISO 9000 quality certification, as well as TL 9000 – a telecommunication industry quality management system standard. At present this certification doesn’t extend, necessarily, to their contract manufacturers. These organisations simply don’t have the capabilities to produce optical network builds, so these are built in house.
The operations director notices that you are looking a bit confused. He summarises the way the Systems Houses work now. Systems Houses carry out two main activities: System Integration Fulfilment (the assembly of ready-made components and filling of cabinets) and Factory Acceptance Testing (testing these assemblies to ensure they work correctly).
System Integration Fulfilment (SIF), he adds, was originally an optional extra. Now, this is a mandatory part of Nortel’s customised products service. Network components are assembled in the factory and shipped to the customers’ site in cabinets. This lowers overall cost and improves quality, making in situ installation quicker and easier.
Factory Acceptance Testing (FAT) is that part of the operations process where individual cabinets are cabled together and tested to ensure that everything is working ...
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