Moving an entire factory is a massive undertaking fraught with logistical difficulties, safety hazards, and unforeseen challenges. Adding to the immense pressure is the obvious fact that companies lose many millions of dollars during a production line shutdown.
The good news is that there is a definite method to follow when relocating your factory. At IRH, we have decades of experience helping small and large factories relocate under very tight deadlines. Read on to discover how to successfully relocate your factory full of heavy industrial machinery.
Make sure to plan your move as early as possible. While time constraints from upper management are typical, many businesses often underestimate how long it will take—especially if they’re handling the move internally.
To avoid potential bottlenecks, pay close attention to the following:
Schedule for good weather—Avoid moving during inclement weather as it exponentially increases the risk of accidents or damage to the equipment. Many online weather services will provide a 14-day or more extended outlook.
Choose your team—Put together your internal moving team, delegate tasks, and assign project managers. Conduct regular team meetings to make sure everyone is on the same page.
Check factory layout drawings—Find your factory blueprints and verify their accuracy by taking measurements. You’ll need them to ensure the best way to remove equipment from the building.
Review the supply chain—The move will most likely affect your supply chain. Communicate that to everyone on your team, as they could experience delays getting raw materials to your new location.
Communicate your move—Communicate your move to employees, vendors, and customers as early as possible. The more notice people have, the less likely unforeseen delays will occur.
Create a backup plan—Plan for all scenarios, no matter how far-fetched they may seem. For example, what if a key team member suddenly quits their job? Or what if one of the trucks gets into an accident or loses its load?
Determine the new layout—Review the blueprints of your new facility to determine the most efficient placement of machines. Consider which equipment needs to get installed first.
Obtain permits—Secure the permits necessary for transportation from the relevant authorities. Be sure to tackle this task as early as possible because there could be a time delay in getting approval.
Determine what aspects of the move you’ll perform in-house and which ones you will need to outsource to a 3rd party professional moving company specializing in factory relocations.
When considering your internal capabilities, remember that underestimating is better than overestimating. Time delays could occur if you need to call in outside help during the middle of the move.
Ensure that the vehicles you use to transport your factory machinery are mechanically sound. Be sure to check the following:
Perform a thorough audit of all machinery you intend to move. You may realize that some equipment is not in very good condition, and it’s better to scrap it and buy a new one. Give each machine an asset tag that contains relevant information.
Find the equipment manuals and contact the manufacturer to see if they can provide any helpful moving tips. Some machines have fragile parts or are sensitive to tiny vibrations. This information will come in handy and ensure you get production back up as quickly as possible.
Wrap the machinery in several protective layers of shrink wrap and moving blankets. Be sure to remove any parts that could come loose during transport. Clearly mark the name and intended location of the machine on the outside of the shrink wrap.
You can fit some machines through the factory doors, and others may require using a crane and removing certain parts of the building. Consider the machine’s center of gravity when loading it onto the truck.
Once the equipment is on the flatbed, tie it down with heavy chains using the truck’s designated tie-down points. Remove any slack and match the hook and chain sizes properly.
On the day of the move, ensure that the truck driver knows the route and has all documentation and permits in their possession. Avoid bridges, narrow roads, turns, and stops as much as possible.
After the first 50 miles, have the driver manually inspect the load and again after every three hours or 150 miles. If the trip requires multiple driver changes, be sure to have them check the cargo before they take off.
After the truck arrives at the new location, level the unloading site and prepare to remove the machinery. Remove all tie-downs and visually inspect each machine for damage before you unload it. Slowly unload the machinery and into its final location.
Moving an entire factory is a massive undertaking, to say the least. This is why many manufacturers turn to professional factory relocation specialists to manage and perform the move.
Over the past few decades at IRH, we’ve helped countless companies successfully relocate their factories, often under seemingly impossible deadlines. Learn more below.
Learn more about IRH Factory Relocation Services
Our goal at IRH is to use our expertise to handle the jobs that are too challenging and too big for others to accomplish.
Whether your project is big, really big, or you just need the best in the business, IRH is ready to help.