Companies decide to do facility changes for any number of machine reasons, from adding new equipment to incorporating a new business they’ve just purchased. If yours is one of them, sharing some of my experience may help you. When you start the process always remember to do the basics first. Develop a current facility layout you can utilize for planning the future, and be sure to get accurate machine dimensions. You can get yourself into trouble by just estimating your area or equipment sizes, only to find out too late your equipment won’t fit where you want it to. As in any home project, always measure accurately to prevent future installation problems!
Challenges can also arise when working with equipment manufacturers and distributors. Let’s say you’ve purchased a machine from a manufacturer or distributor and you want to have the utilities installed in your plant before it arrives. You’ll need to obtain the actual machine dimensions, etc. from the manufacturer. Typically this is pretty easy. You can have the manufacturer give you the actual machine drawing CAD and you can then import that drawing into your new layout plan. If you’ve added options to the equipment that changes its dimensions from the “standard” you’ll need to work with the manufacturer to develop accurate dimensions for the specialized design. With these accurate measurements you can assure that your new layout will be correct and utilities can be properly placed for your new equipment when it arrives.
Actually getting the new equipment into your plant can be a challenge all its own! Do you have an interesting installation experience you’d like to share? Let’s hear from you, please leave it in a comment below!