5 key points for planning a plant redesign

I am currently working on a factory redesign for a client. There are many things to think about if you want to succeed in your redesign.

So I thought about sharing with you 5 important points to remember.

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1) Build a key team

You will need to validate several points throughout your planning and redesign. You cannot do a factory remodel alone. You must involve people at all levels. Remember that many heads are better than one. For example, key decisions will need to be discussed and validated by the management team, employee tasks should be discussed with the supervisors and workstations details will have to be reviewed with the operators.

So plan the time to consult the members of your organization if you want your redesign to be a success. Everyone at all levels will feel involved and will be part of the solution which will result in less criticism afterwards! Above all, your redesign will be a success.

2) Analyze your products and volumes

If you want to remodel your plant, you have to understand what goes on! What are your products or product families, volumes and percentage of each in relation to all of your products? Do you have seasonal products? Product at the end of their life? This will help you knowing which product to put emphasis on. If one product represents 60% of your total production and another 2%, prioritize the one that represents 60% of your volumes.

In addition to understanding current products, you must also think about the future. What are upcoming products? Are there any current or future strategic issues to consider? You must think long-term to anticipate as much as possible. For example, should you keep a free space for new equipment that will be purchased next year?

What are your forecasts for the next 3 to 5 years? This will help you determine equipment needs, storage, material flow, etc. If you do not know, estimate future pessimistic, average and optimistic volumes. A pessimistic scenario will for example be a volume decrease of 10%, and optimistic will be an increase of 20%.

3) Determine your budget and your schedule

Since money does not grow in trees, you will need to establish a budget and schedule. Do you know that there are different provincial and federal grant programs that can help you? For example, the Ministry of Economy, Science and Innovation, which helps speed up the implementation of certain projects for SMEs. Do not hesitate to apply.

Your budget should include, among other things, money for hiring consultants, like us, to help you. Hiring engineering firms or architects if you need structural plans, ventilation, electricity, etc. Anticipate the costs of the work, equipment to buy or modify, new health and safety equipment, handling equipment, etc. Also plan funds if you think you will need to create new positions.

In terms of timing, make sure to allow enough time. A redesign project is not done on the fly and requires a lot of time and reflections, so do not wait until the last minute to rethink everything, be forewarning! Your schedule must be alive and you must readjust it as needed.

4) Analyze the current processes and space

You have to understand how things are actually done in your plant to properly plan the redesign and plan improvements if not, why redesigning? Analyzing current processes means following the activity to produce a product. In the offices you will have to follow the information.

From this understanding of the process and the flow of production and work, you will be able to think of improvements and your future space.

Also understand the current space. You can start from a current plan of your plant that indicates departments and equipment. Also identify the physical infrastructure that is required, such as ventilation, electricity, compressed air, etc.

Also analyze the flow of equipment and personnel. Calculate the number of items on the move, the distances to cover, the number of people involved. List problems and bottlenecks.

5) Make the design of the macro and micro space

Now that you have a good understanding of the current situation and the technical problems, you can make the design of the new space.

Determine if your redesign will be done by product or function. Calculate the space required, place equipment, aisles, storage areas, access required for maintenance, spaces for future needs, etc.

Plan the flow of material between each sector, think of the different possible paths according to the different situations. Think about the required material handling.

Plan the required infrastructure. Think about setups and maintenance, health and safety and ergonomics. Plan the required equipment, the new tasks and new positions.

Finally, make the micro design of workstations. This may include reviewing the positions and tasks of the operators and balancing these tasks. Validate how to enter and exit the material of a work cell or a production line. What tools are required, etc.

A factory remodel requires a lot of analysis and understanding of the operations. Do not hesitate to contact us, we will help you with our experience.

Good redesign! If you liked this article, feel free to share it on your favourite social networks.


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