So, you’re upgrading your food production equipment or adding to your line. Good for you. And you purchased everything you needed from Eaglestone. Smart move. Now all you have to do is wait for our installers to arrive and get you up and running in no time. Well, maybe. Many times, when we’ve pulled up to a customer’s door, we’ve found conditions that make a rapid turnaround difficult, if not impossible. Some careful planning before the install can save hours, or even days, in downtime. To get started, we’ve come up with our top five tips that will pay huge dividends when our trucks pull up outside your facility.
Tip One: Plan Ahead
Months before the move-in date, you need a plan. Take a good look at the space where the new equipment is going to be positioned. Are the right electrical lines in place? Will any plumbing or HVAC have to be relocated? Is the space already occupied with old equipment? These questions will determine what vendors and/or internal resources have to be scheduled to complete their tasks before we arrive. Depending on the scope of the installation, putting these tasks on a timeline will determine if you need to stockpile product to cover you during the installation shutdown and how much should be put aside. Remember, this downtime will affect operations upstream and downstream of the new line. That’s why this planning process is so important to your business.
Tip Two: Call a Meeting
The people who can help you determine the answers to the questions above are the professionals involved in each step. We suggest you coordinate all contractors so everyone is on the same page. Bring them all together to discuss the process in detail. Some portions of the move will overlap. Many can’t be started until the previous step is complete. Who should attend? Consider the following as a guideline:
– Plant Engineer
– Equipment manufacturer/installer (yes this includes us)
– Pipe fitters
– Equipment movers
– HVAC professionals
Talking through the project often turns up hidden conflicts that need to be addressed. Having these experts help develop and agree to a timetable is a great way to kick off the process.
Tip Three: Prepare a Work Area
Installations can be messy, especially if grinding, welding or other fabrication techniques are required to make a piece of equipment fit into the proper footprint. Will you have active food preparation lines running during the install? It’s a good idea to designate a separate area or at least build barriers to keep dust and other contaminants contained and isolated. This alone can take up to a half-day or more depending on the scope of the project.
Tip Four: Large and Clear Point of Entry
Do you have adequate door openings, a tiny elevator or narrow hallways? Is the old equipment blocking the loading dock while waiting to be hauled away? Entryways and passageways should be cleared of debris and any other obstacles in advance. If access to the equipment location is blocked, a lot of valuable time will be lost while a crew is put together to clean up the situation.
Tip Five: Safety and Risk Assessment Paperwork
Every operation has its own safety protocols that need to be followed before work on the premises can begin. Many of these can be long and involved, including completion of safety and risk assessment paperwork. It can be extremely helpful and timesaving to provide us with these forms in advance of the installation. We can complete them ahead of time and bring them with us. That way we can begin the install immediately, instead of taking valuable time for each person in the crew to fill out the forms on the spot.
These tips are based on real life experiences. Time and money were lost. But with a little foresight and planning, your brand new Eaglestone system and production line will be operational and rolling down the line much, much faster.
Taking delivery of new equipment? Contact us to talk through the installation details.