Production Strategies

Carl Still
Stove production in our Nigeria factory.

Building super-efficient stoves requires precision manufacturing with exacting quality controls. Successful mass production depends on establishing step-by-step operations and using the best possible tooling and custom jigs – all of which “force” precision construction. After years of development, our processes are in place, and they work. Our system, a marriage of 21st century materials science and 19th century technology, enable us to build stoves anywhere in the world to within one millimeter tolerances.

We have a two-tier program for production and dissemination of our stoves: production of finished stoves and other technologies in our Oregon facilities, and what we call “Stove-Factory-in-a-Box” – our innovative method of empowering and supporting production in developing countries.

1) Domestic Production

We have been in capacity-building mode for the last three years, and are now mass-producing stoves in our Oregon facilities. A trained production staff and an administrative and support team are in place to insure rapid order fulfillment. Our Oregon staff also manages the materials-handling for Stove-Factory-In-A-Box overseas production partners.

Currently, we have the capacity to produce twenty stoves per day, and we are in negotiations for expanded space to increase capacity and bring our other technologies into full production.

2) Stove-Factory-In-A-Box

Our ultimate goal is the production of hundreds of thousands of stoves. Towards this end, we developed the Stove-Factory-in-a-Box manufacturing method in order to export not only stove components, but also the technology and production methods needed to make them.

There are many reasons to place production nearer to end users. Local manufacturing reduces transportation costs, empowers the development of successful businesses, creates desperately needed jobs, and establishes reliable, in-country production of high-quality stoves. Local manufacturers can also provide follow-up maintenance and repairs thus keeping stoves in long-term service. We estimate that properly maintained with occasional replacement of parts, our stoves will remain in service for ten years or more.

Each Stove-Factory-in-a-Box is a shipping container packed with all the parts- jigs, tools, equipment and machinery necessary for stove assembly. Our production methodology relies on laser-cut critical parts and custom tooling, which ensure precision.  Pre-manufacturing the critical components in Oregon allows most of the assembly to be done with hand tools with low power requirements.  The factory procedures are easily learned "semi-skilled" functions with quality control mechanisms built into every step.

The first factory is beginning operation in Afikpo, Nigeria, in 2013. We are in negotiations to open factories in Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Ghana, and Haiti.