Blog : Moving factory is equal parts equipment relocation and re-integration.

Use an Integrator for Relocations

The benefits of using an experienced production line integrator for your factory move are significant.

A skilled integrator will take into consideration production targets at the new location, and help you design an efficient layout.

This may involve:

1. Line Efficiency Auditing

A measure of overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) will assist you in planning for productivity improvements.

Conducting a review of your existing production line assists with decision making around equipment placement, upgrades or replacements at the new location.

2. Engineering Diagnostics & Design

  • CAD drafting and layout drawings
  • Productivity and process improvements
  • Engineering drive systems
  • Electrical panels
  • PLC programming
  • Advanced project management

3. Automation and Control Systems Design

Design and integration of:

  • Mechanical, electrical and software system design
  • Line control systems / factory-wide MES (Management Execution System)
  • Machine retrofits
  • Switchboards and control panels
  • Factory acceptance testing (FAT)
  • Site acceptance testing (SAT)

4. High-level Control Architecture Design

This means ensuring that all the different brands of equipment on the line are integrated, working at optimal efficiency and providing consistent data through an intelligent network and a line management execution system (LMES).

The use of open modular architecture controls provides operators with standardised machine interfaces and intuitive functions.

5. System Design 3D simulation

An animated 3D ‘proof of concept’ demonstrates how the new line will operate, ensuring that safety issues around space allocation for humans and moving equipment are carefully accounted for. It can identify potential bottlenecks and rate-limiting issues, saving time, money and professional reputations.

6. Manufacturing

Purpose-built manufacturing of:

  • Automation equipment – palletisers, depalletisers, conveying, robotics
  • Platforms and structures

An integrator with in-house manufacturing capability will provide you with tighter control over timelines.

7. Equipment Supply

Packaging technology such as:

  • Inspection systems
  • Collaborative robots
  • Conventional robots
  • Filling machines
  • Coding and labelling
  • Case packers
  • Pallet wrappers
  • Automated guided vehicles

And any other equipment required.

8. Total Project Management

Using an integrator as an end-to-end project manager, or in random with your own appointed project manager, means dealing with only one supplier. This can mean:

  • Tighter timelines
  • One point of contact
  • Greater accountability
  • No ‘buck-passing’
  • Ongoing service and support

9. Comprehensive Safety Services

An integrator with specialist safety expertise can help you:

  • Identify inherent risks in the proposed new operating plant
  • Relocate and install equipment to current Australian and International Safety Standards
  • Implement safety upgrades where required
  • Document compliance
  • Provide safety awareness training, maintenance and service support

Having an independent, objective perspective in assessing risk may recognise risks that have not been identified by internal Safety/OHS managers.

10. Installation and Commissioning

Correct installation and commissioning can affect your equipment reliability and longevity. Experienced, factory-trained technicians will ensure:

  • Your equipment operates immediately
  • It’s configured to your exact requirements
  • Your staff are trained and ready to go

Ultimately, it will cost you less in downtime to relocate.

A ‘Smarter’ Factory

A skilled integrator can help you move closer to Industry 4.0, where all the equipment, sensors, software and analytics data on your new line are connected through the Internet of Things.

The entire production line can be controlled by a line management system that visualises the whole system and recommends or makes decisions independently.

Industry 4.0 opens up new possibilities for product differentiation and market development.

Read more about the advantages of Industry 4.0 for production lines here

As a final note, the integrator for your factory move should be willing to transfer their knowledge and thought process about the system design and source code to you, so you can internally support the hardware.

Ideally, they should have minimal vested interest in the products being used in your factory and therefore no commercial bias—and be able to provide you with unlimited service and support.

Foodmach offers end-to-end factory relocation services and project management. We have decades of experience moving production lines to their new home.

Just ask us