How to prepare your facility for a large press upgrade or other project?
Before embarking on a press upgrade or other large scale project, ask yourself the following questions:
- What is your end goal? What do you want to accomplish? What is driving this project? Is it unsafe equipment, inefficient production, or future growth potential? The reasons why you might be embarking on a large scale project could be endless, but by clearly identifying the project's catalyst you can identify the best way to achieve it. Be clear in stating what the end goal is besides just a successful project completed on time and on budget. Specifically, how should this project prove ROI? How will it impact production? Operations? Productivity? Yield? Efficiency? Be clear in what you want the project to achieve for you and communicate it to your team and vendors.
- What is the level of importance to the business? To your team? To you? Is your current situation a large pain point, effecting multiple teams, lines, or areas of your facility? How long has the issue persisted? How dire your current situation is will determine your budget, schedule, and vendors.
- Who will be the project owner? Who will serve as the project owner and point of contact for the project? Are there other invested parties?
- What is your expected budget? Your available budget is a major factor in determining the scope of your project. It's important to allocate necessary funds for safety upgrades, process and procedure changes, and other infrastructure work. Be confident in what you are expecting to spend and what you are willing to spend to get the results that you want.
- Are there additional projects associated? While you're doing major work are there smaller projects that could be accomplished at the same time? Could you add data tracking functionality through new sensors, software, or technology? Could you incorporate machine learning or other Industry 4.0 solutions into your press or line?
- Have you considered the effects of your project on your facility? How will this project effect your facility and operations? How will you mitigate downtime? How does regular maintenance factor in? How will safety be considered during the project? Whatever it is, identify the risks and be prepared.
If you can't answer these questions, it may be as sign that you (1) are rushing into a project (2) you may never be happy with the end result because you haven't identified what you really need. Either way, you owe it to yourself, your team, your company, and your vendors to be clear and concise from the project's beginning. Setting the stage for expectations is crucial to a project's success.
Don't feel prepared? Reach out to talk more about how to best plan for an upcoming project. Our experience and expertise on hundreds of projects over the years allows us to offer lessons learned and best practices when it comes to planning effectively for a large-scale project.
By Justin Dykstra
Senior Controls Engineer
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