The (almost) headache-free way to establish a precast plant
Whether you’re new to the business or a seasoned professional, making the decision to adopt a new technology can be challenging. But once you have determined that adding a precast line to your existing production is the right move, keep the following tips in mind to make establishing your precast plant as smooth as possible:
1. Prepare for launch. The precast project begins with a project launch meeting. Before any equipment can be manufactured, it is important to make sure that all technical details are accurate. This is where the actual blueprints of the future precast concrete production hall come in handy. The document should have detailed information about all the existing structures that are in the new equipment working area.
2. Location, location, location. A standard precast plant cannot be built everywhere. We’re talking about heavy- duty hardware that would be difficult to move around after it’s installed, unless designed movable in the first place. Also, there is a process that needs to happen in a certain order for the plant to function efficiently.
3. Make sure that the infrastructure for the production lines is built on schedule. It almost goes without saying that installing the precast production line cannot begin before the building and, in particular, the floor and ground structures are finished. When you receive the initial drawings of the plant layout from us, they will include forces to the foundation and columns as well as electrical, water, sewer, compressed air and network feed points. This will allow you to finalise the factory design and ensure that the building is structurally viable.
4. Make sure that you share detailed product descriptions. Detailed product descriptions will be needed before the engineering project can start. This will help ensure that both the plant layout and the machinery are optimised for your production needs. You should let the plant manufacturer know what types of precast elements – hollow-core, walls, piles, pillars – you will be producing, with their measurements and details, shapes, openings, recesses and ducts, and possibly insulation thicknesses or cross sections and lengths.
5. Set a realistic schedule. Once the equipment design is finalised, manufacturing can begin. The production schedule depends on the size of the factory and the complexity of the equipment. The average production time for precast plant equipment is four months. And while you might be excited to start production ASAP, it’s important not to set an overly optimistic schedule for all the project phases.
6. Set up a professional project team. A plant supplier like Elematic has a professional project organisation and a dedicated project manager. But it is not enough; you will also need one on your side. Assign a project manager, preferably an experienced one, to oversee the whole project. The Project manager will be the main point of contact with the production line supplier and would handle issues related to the project build. The project manager and at least some of the team members should have good command of the English language.
A well-functioning team will help keep the project on schedule and on budget.
7. Prepare for installation. Installing a precast factory is precise work. It cannot begin before the foundation’s load-bearing capacity has been checked by our mechanical supervisor. Plus, it takes a few weeks for the installations to be completed, after which your team can start their work. And a skilled team – engineers, mechanics, welders, electricians, etc. – with enough manpower is also a must-have. Do not forget to arrange proper tools and equipment on site.
8. Ensure that you have personnel and all raw materials available for commissioning. After all the machinery are installed, the next phase of the project can begin: start-up. By this time, you should have the plant personnel in place so that they can learn how to run the factory. It is also highly recommended to take separate machine and plant training courses as they will greatly help the operators in their daily routines and ensure that minor mistakes do not stop the whole production later on. You will also need to have all raw materials for the concrete mix available as it would be impossible to make any proper test runs or start the actual production without it.
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