Limit Manufacturing Downtime for Equipment Installations & Moving

 In Industrial Construction, Plant Optimization
Planning and Industrial Skilled Personnel Key to Production Installations and Equipment Moving
(Updated April 21, 2021)

Manufacturers investing in plant upgrades must consider the impact on existing production when planning new process improvements.  Scheduling work around production shutdowns and completion within expedited construction timelines is essential to successfully coordinate construction to minimize production losses through downtime. Let’s take a look at how to limit manufacturing downtime.

It’s difficult to calculate just how much downtime costs manufacturers. A recent study of downtime in manufacturing estimated the cost of downtime is, on average, $260,000 an hour! In the automotive industry, that hourly number grows to nearly $3 million. Reducing downtime is absolutely critical when it comes to the bottom line.

Effective communication and implementation of a coordinated construction plan are often where the challenge begins. Production needs change and unexpected construction conditions arise. These kinds of manufacturing obstacles need to be built into the initial project management timeline for complete transparency.

Plan the Project Schedule to meet Client-Specific Priorities

Fine-tuning the balance between quality work completions and meeting production timeline challenges is key. The experienced industrial contractor identifies the client’s priorities and each project’s critical components at the outset. Planning to meet those requirements must be communicated to the entire project team.

Take for instance a recent Storee production improvement project that included the installation of a hammer mill within an existing production area. The 22,000-pound machine required a reinforced concrete foundation with critical balance specifications. Construction of the foundation and installation of the hammer mill on the manufacturing floor required a halt in production.

To minimize downtime, Storee compressed the project to a 10-day completion period. We designed a detailed project task that outlined a streamlined schedule. We also used a specialized concrete curing process to achieve the required results while shortening the time needed for the concrete to cure.

Coordination Limits Interruptions

To safely complete the project in the 10-day window, the scheduling had to be air-tight. Existing equipment needed to be moved, layout design, and concrete sawing for the new base were the first steps. Excavation for the new base, anchoring systems placed, and pouring of specialized concrete soon followed.

After the concrete cured, the new equipment was placed, and the existing equipment was returned. As an added benefit, Storee transported the temporarily relocated production equipment to the plant maintenance area for needed service. This prevented future downtime even if it didn’t improve the timeline of this project.

Limit Manufacturing Downtime

In many cases, downtime is just part of the planning process when it comes to a project. With enough planning, downtime can be effectively managed. In the above example, the piece of equipment was going to be offline anyway, so why not perform the necessary service?

Of course, downtime isn’t always planned during the manufacturing process. Without proper maintenance, manufacturing equipment failures will happen. Understanding Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) will go a long way to ensuring years of worry-free service. 

Other unplanned downtime occurs where there is an accident at your facility. Accidents on the job account for a loss of more than a billion dollars in industrial and manufacturing industries every year. Regularly scheduled safety audits will go a long way to preventing accidents, keep the production line moving, and most importantly keep your employees safe.

Storee Works with Every Client to Achieve the Best Project Results

Installations or improvements within existing production areas require industrial-specific construction considerations to successfully complete the work and limit production interruptions. 

To avoid costly production delays and project overruns, select an industrial contractor with design-build capabilities. By consolidating project managers, you can decrease miscommunication that can so often contribute to downtime. Open lines of communication will make sure your production comes back online as scheduled.

Storee Construction has been working throughout the Midwest for decades. Improving efficiency, upgrading production lines, and performing safety audits to keep injuries to a minimum. Is your commercial, manufacturing, or production facility in need of a major overhaul? Reach out and see what we can do to help