What You Need to Consider Before Relocating Your Manufacturing Plant
Most of us often trust that our most recent move to a new home or a new business facility is the last one we are going to have to make. But if you represent a production company, the practice of relocating to a different campus may appear particularly overwhelming and frustrating.
However, with the perfect plan in place before the first crate becomes packed, your manufacturing business and everybody beneath its roof can get involved in a smooth transition and get back up to speed before you know it. Here's a quick look at four of the biggest steps in the process and what you ought to know about each and every one.
Safely Moving Equipment
There is always a possibility of losing a thing or causing harm to your gear in a move. One of the tasks that falls to supervisors overseeing a production plant relocation is ensuring that the company's property (and any customers' or vendors' onside property) be properly tagged and monitored before, during and after the transfer.
Barcode, RFID and NFC tags and labels are more affordable than ever and can help you achieve peace of mind through asset monitoring. It's an ally not only while what is in transition, possibly, but also after things get settled . The right solution could help you bring order and oversight to even thousands of physical assets at once.
Obviously, there will also likely be instances when some of your equipment and other resources won't be prepared for the transition right away or at the same time. In cases like these, it makes sense to find a secondary place at which you can store those things safely. This means reducing their risk of becoming lost or perhaps stolen in what's probably going to be a complicated move with lots of individuals and moving components.
Look carefully at the options in your area and your needs. Some storage facilities feature cranes that can lift around 100 tons of material or machinery at once, meaning the largest-scale manufacturing concerns can discover a partner on the market to help them store their assets in the interim.
Planning and Installing the New Plant Layout
There's only one thing that's more potentially bothersome than moving to a new facility: having to set up everything a second time in your new place because you didn't have a strong concept in mind ahead or didn't bother communicating nicely about it with your staff.
Manufacturing could be a complex process with several divisions and teams to be worried about. Each one might have its own group of workflows to worry about, including physical workstation setups that they have perfected over time to facilitate smooth operations. Redesigning your centre is a opportunity to think about a"cell" layout for each distinct workflow and to attain one-piece flow, which makes your operation both simpler and more predictable after you're up and running again.
Don't just assemble a plan in a boardroom and presume it is going to work out. This is one of the steps of the procedure where you are going to want to work closely together with the people"on the ground" doing the daily work in your manufacturing processes. Remember to inquire:
If there are any improvements they want to see about the storage and accessibility of their tools and gear.
Whether the existing position of their workstations is conducive to collaboration with other members of the group and minimizes the likelihood of unfinished works-in-progress piling up.
If there were times in the past where the design of, or distance between, their department and the remainder of the facility resulted in work stoppages or bottlenecks. When workpieces have to change hands, as an example, safety and productivity become issues once the distance is great plus it must cross paths with another job being done.
This might be the most collaborative measure in this list. Depending on how much time and thought you spend on it, it can even fuel your upcoming commitment to lean manufacturing by streamlining everything from material storage to completed product handling.
Testing and Auditing
You know in addition to anybody that quality management in manufacturing depends on attentive tool calibration and fine-tune operator settings for optimal outcomes. After your relocation is complete and you have set up your operations again under your new roof, the time has come to do testing and auditing processes.
Work together with your engineers and technicians to draw up a list of testing protocols or re-calibrations that is going to have to be performed before your equipment is powered up again.
This is not only a good idea for internal excellent control, either. Some industries, such as medical device, aerospace and automotive parts manufacturing, require a First Article Inspection Report, or"FAIR." This can be a battery of testing protocols done on the very first production run to determine whether tolerances and quality control are still intact.
It's especially significant in the context of moving a major manufacturing facility because, as we have discussed, some of your equipment may have been jarred from proper calibration or possibly even ruined while en route. Among the chief objectives of any facility relocation is ensuring the parties that depend on you, including spouses downstream in the distribution chain as well as end-users, do not have some reason to fear there's been a lapse in quality or attention to detail. Furnishing FAIR documents and completing other auditing procedures is 1 way to be certain they don't.
Last Step: The Final Review
The very last thing on your schedule is your final review. This won't always be a standardized process. You occupy a exceptional industry market, which means the actions needed for your relocation won't automatically reflect what other businesses have gone through before.
For your final review, sit together with your group leaders and discuss the results, including what you discovered during testing and auditing. Are there some other action items remaining at this stage? Any equipment still in storage? Have the aims of your relocation been realized?
You are not making this transition and without a lot of preparation and thought. If something has not happened just as you pictured, or someone on your team is calling out additional opportunities to boost your new location, this is the opportunity to place it right. If you do, your move gets less a stumbling block and much more an opportunity to construct a strong foundation upon which the future of your company can rest.