Plan Ahead to Stay Ahead on Packaging Equipment Installations

01 April 2016 //

Equipment PurchasingProject Planning

Installation is a major consideration in any machinery purchase, whether it’s a new copy machine or a great new packaging line. The secret to making installation a smooth process is planning ahead. The more detailed the plan you put in place beforehand, the better the installation is likely to go.

To create a comprehensive plan, consider the following:

Timing: Do your homework.

  • Gather input from different areas within your organization – including production, management and maintenance – and from the equipment manufacturer.
  • Be methodical in your information gathering and verify key data like the required dates from your end and the ship dates from the manufacturer.
  • Build in some time to allow for any schedule changes or setbacks caused by, among other things, machinery modifications or an additional request on your part.

Resources: Decide which people are needed on the project and when they are required.

  • Who will be installing the new machinery? Engage the manufacturer to help answer this question, as they will know better than anyone the number of people and expertise needed for the installation. They should also be able to tell you how long it will take, and if any outside contractors are required.
  • What type of equipment is needed for the installation? The manufacturer can detail loading and moving machinery in their facility, as well as how you should move it in yours.
  • Have spare parts and consumables on hand. You don’t want a delayed start or to interrupt uptime by having to wait a week for a part or materials that could have easily been on-hand.

Lay out a plan: After nailing down timing and resources, it’s time to make a plan.

  • Consider any disruptions or roadblocks that may arise, and build in contingencies.
  • You won’t need the machinery in place if you don’t have anything to run on it. Have product on-hand.

Check yourself: To get and keep your installation plan on the right track, periodically ask yourself these questions:

  • When do I need the machinery installed?
  • When is the best time for the installation?
  • When will consumables need to arrive?
  • What are our production schedules?
  • How will installation interrupt our production schedules?
  • When will the machinery be complete and ready for shipment?
  • If production is interrupted, how long can we afford to be down?
  • Is the manufacturer supplying any service personnel to help with the installation?                                                               If so, how many? Do I need to request more?
  • What part(s) will the manufacturer’s personnel be assisting with?
  • What part(s) of the installation are we responsible for?
  • How long will re-assembly take?
  • How long will startup take?
  • How long will training take?
  • Do I need any outside contractors? Electricians, pipefitters, millwrights?
  • When do I need to schedule them for?

There’s a lot to think about, for sure, but remember you’re not in it alone. A thorough plan requires a few meetings and some external modifications before it is finalized, and keeping it adaptable readily accommodates changes along the way.

For more information on seamless project planning and installation, contact us today. We’re happy to help!