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It’s the dream of every manufacturing, production, or industrial company: expanding your reach and your facilities. But it’s difficult to plan [...]
Many companies face the intimidating task of plant relocation. While any business move is a major task, an industrial plant relocation is particularly exacting. To ensure the success of a move, you’ll need to plan every detail of the project.
There are lots of reasons why businesses want to relocate a factory. You may be consolidating operations. Perhaps your current site doesn’t have the infrastructure to support your production. Maybe you’re expanding or downsizing. Maybe you need to be closer to customers or suppliers. Whatever the reason, you can streamline the process with a well-laid plan.
Our team at Storee Construction draws on 50 years of experience in factory relocation and consulting. Every move is different but all have certain things in common, and it’s important to be aware of the potential challenges. You’ll want professional industrial movers to take care of the heavy work. Here’s an overview of the process, and a few things you can do to expedite the relocation and quick return to productivity.
Factories tend to remain in one spot for years. During that time, the company may have upgraded several times. With every change, new facility and equipment layout drawings should have been made. But, that doesn’t always happen.
Always check the accuracy of your plant’s drawings. Update the blueprints if you need to. Before you plan your move, you’ll need an accurate representation of the plant in its current state. You’ll need up-to-date drawings when you plan the arrangement and the setup of equipment in the new location. Engineers will also use the drawings to design such things as utilities, ventilation, and drainage.
If you don’t have plans of the current layout, develop as-built drawings. They should have a clear column grid and indicate critical utility connections as well as equipment marked for relocation. All equipment in the drawings should be labeled to include its category, department and area, manufacturer, motor plate data, asset identification number, and additional weight and utility requirements.
Confirm that equipment from the old facility meets codes of the receiving location. Check state permit requirements for boilers and pressure vessels. For example, Arkansas state codes for boilers and pressure vessels differ from those in Missouri, Kansas, and Oklahoma. Have you taken into account the regulatory differences? Will your existing equipment be compatible?
Take high resolution digital photographs and videos of your equipment. Shoot from all angles. Zoom in on control panels and utility connections. If a piece of machinery requires a special setup or foundation, take photos of those components. Foundations might include trenches, pits, drainage or safety rails. While these images are important, you’ll also need to take measurements of the foundations or pits. Err on the side of recording more than you think you’ll need.
All of your Quality Management Systems (QMS) documents from your distribution list needs to be ready to be redistributed at your new plant. We would also suggest using this time to ensure you have secured data backups of all records, so nothing is lost during transit.
Before the move, purge equipment you no longer need. Begin by accessing everything you’re considering moving. A plant engineer should head up this process, documenting the condition and usefulness of each piece of equipment.
In this stage, every piece of the equipment should be examined and recorded. This is the time to decide whether the item needs to go to the new facility, needs to be refurbished or should be abandoned. In some cases, replacing the equipment will make more sense than repairing and moving it. It’s important that all data and information is identified and stored properly. We recommend doing so in spreadsheets or databases, as well as physically tagging each piece.
At one point, the plant engineer needs to form an installation plan with both the utilities installer and relocation contractor. You want to make sure that the utilities in your new facility are connected and ready to go, once you arrive.
Once connected, you should perform preliminary tests to ensure utilities are functioning and ready to facilitate the incoming equipment. Once the equipment is considered mechanically complete, you can begin installation.
Each piece should be tested before you resume full production. If anything is malfunctioning, you can check back to your pre-move inspections—this will inform you if anything was damaged in the move.
Developing an overarching plan for the move is the most important part of the process. It’s also the most challenging. If you’re relocating from one hot facility to another, you’ll need to make a plan to ramp down production at the old location while simultaneously ramping up at the new location.
Many of your heavy pieces of machinery will need special foundations, pits or trenches. The proper infrastructure will ensure the new facility can handle the load and vibration or large equipment. Factor in time for the construction of these structures in the new building.
Another critical requirement of your move is finding a qualified industrial rigger. Moving the machinery and equipment in a plant requires specialized know-how and equipment, Storee has both. We take safety seriously, both for our team and yours.
Even after operations are back in full swing, you’ll want to schedule ongoing inspections. This ensures that pieces are fully installed and operating at full capacity.
As your industrial plant relocation contractor, we’ll prevent mishaps in the moving process. A quick and complication-free move saves you time, money and stress. Storee Construction can help you plan and complete your plant relocation. We’ll set moving priorities and identify critical components. With our help, a plant move can proceed with a minimum of lost time.
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