Five Tips On Optimizing Your New Plant During Relocation

Posted on: 2 October 2015

Just about every successful company has to deal with plant relocation at some point in its history as it grows and prospers.

If you've outgrown your current facility and need to relocate, you can make the relocation process as successful as possible by putting enough thought into the organization of your new plant. The following five tips will help you revitalize your production process at your new plant during the move:

Aim for one-piece flow

Plant managers should already be familiar with the concept of "one-piece flow" and understand how it boosts production productivity.

With one-piece flow, your production facility can function around a lot size of only one unit. This simplifies production while making operations faster and more predictable. During relocation, you have a great opportunity to make some profound changes to production by switching over to one-piece flow from a previous batch movement setup. 

Group production items in cells

It will be easier to organize your new plant if you develop a system for organizing your production equipment into separate cells.

Group production equipment according to the step during which it is used in the production process. You should take some time to divide your production process into a set number of steps and designate a particular cell at your new plant devoted to each one of these steps. 

Design to minimize travel

Now that you're starting fresh at a new facility, you have some time to consider the efficiency of your old production setup and optimize it for your new location.

One of the most important things to do when optimizing production is to design your new plant to minimize distances traveled in the course of production operations. Combine operations when possible and group equipment as close together as possible without making it cluttered enough to detract from productivity. 

Avoid excessive handling of materials

Another factor of production that you want to minimize in addition to distances traveled is material handling. Excessive material handling opens up more possibilities for human error and product damage. 

When material handling is necessary, try to set things up so that material can be rolled or slid into place rather than lifted. This will minimize labor strains and speed up the movement of materials. 

Understand the importance of communication

Maintaining effective communication between different departments of your operation is probably the most important thing you need to do during plant relocation.

When you're relocating the plant, your entire company needs to be providing input about how the relocation is affecting operations from each individual staff member's point of view. As a company owner or manager, make sure you're accessible to employees throughout the relocation so that they feel free to approach you regarding concerns or obstacles. 

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