As your business grows, so does your need for new and better equipment. Whether in an existing production line or a new one, installing new equipment can be challenging if you don’t have the experience.
For this reason, rigging and millwright companies exist to assist with these efforts. Rigging includes the safe and successful movement, placement, and installation of heavy loads. A millwright’s work includes the more technical aspects of maintenance and repair of industrial equipment and heavy machinery installation. As you look to add new heavy equipment to your facility, partnering with a trustworthy rigging and millwright company can be the difference between success and failure.
Whether you plan to handle this project on your own or with the help of professionals, we want to ensure you understand what to expect and prepare for so you have the best experience possible.
The Plan Before the Plan
When it comes to heavy machinery installation, preparation is key. Since each circumstance is unique, a thorough risk analysis is necessary before planning can really start. Begin by convening a meeting of the safety teams of the supplier, rigging and millwright contractor, and your internal team. From mobilization to handoff, the objective should be to meet and exceed the specific safety standards and requirements that apply to each project.
Preparation will assist in identifying potential risks as well as a number of other factors that must be taken into account throughout the installation. This could involve moving temporary electrical, plumbing, and other infrastructure before installation can start.
This is also a good time to identify any crew members who could be present during the installation so that the appropriate resources can be put in place. To prevent entry into dangerous zones, make sure all employees are informed of the project work plan.
Heavy Machinery Installation Best Practices
There are so many things to consider when preparing for heavy machinery installation. Fortunately, there is plenty of experience out there to lean on. When it comes time for this heavy machinery installation, it makes a difference if you work with a trusted rigging and millwright company that has done it before. To help make this easier, we’ve prepared a list of the most common aspects of heavy machinery installation that you should consider and prepare for in advance.
You should know the drop locations for your new heavy machinery installation. This will both help the supplier position the new equipment and save you time. If additional drop locations are required, request them from the project manager.
You should also inquire with your supplier about the electrical specifications and other prerequisites that must be present for proper installation. You’ll know exactly what has to be done before the new equipment shows up if you ask this question in advance. Some of the questions you should have answers to include:
a. Power (460V/3Ph/60hz, 120V, 24V or other)
b. Pneumatic (compressed air); 90 psi, 60 SCFM …
c. Dedusting (port diameter, multi points, pressure, flow rate …)
d. Communication cables (Ethernet or other)
What floor thickness is needed for your new machinery? Make certain to ask your provider for the precise weight of your new equipment because heavy machinery installation will exert additional forces on the floor of your facility.
The concrete pad on which a machine is mounted must be separate from the surrounding floor. The pad is often formed and poured directly on bedrock, and it is intended to ensure isolation. This permits the machine’s own energies to be absorbed and keeps vibrations from outside sources from getting inside.
When a machine needs to be mounted directly to the floor, isolation must be achieved using springs or elastomeric pads particularly made to absorb or block the transmission of generated energy. Cross talk, the transmission of energy from one machine to another, is a common cause of stability issues. This is particularly true in facilities with a number of continuous process lines, such as those for metal processing, high-speed printing, and paper machines.
Are your facility’s environmental conditions out of the ordinary? When service workers are required to work in such environments, the installation might become more challenging.
Are there any pipes or other items that need to be moved for your industrial installation? Depending on the size and configuration of the new equipment, installing it may require you to move elements. In order to prevent installation delays and production downtime, make sure that all relocation is completed before installation starts.
What size door, or other entrance, will the equipment be delivered through? Request the size of the largest piece of equipment from your supplier prior to delivery. In this manner, you’ll be able to determine the appropriate entrance for equipment delivery and set up a backup plan in case your current delivery locations are insufficient.
Be sure to consider anchorages for stability when planning heavy machinery installation. Some machinery can move very quickly, which may cause vibration and shaking. Make sure your equipment holds steady. Are anchors a part of the new equipment? If not, do you already have all the anchors needed for the new equipment?
New heavy machinery installation includes fastening the equipment to its foundation with anchor bolts. The application of appropriate techniques guarantees a firm, long-lasting matching of pieces. Bolts should be the right size to provide sufficient holding torque and prevent them from loosening over time. Choosing the right bolt grade requires caution. You should also consider if the mounting pattern will be strong enough to lock mounting plates to the base.
The choice and configuration of the anchor bolts is considerably more important for equipment located on mezzanines or higher floors. The anchor bolts in this situation must accomplish two crucial tasks: they must secure the machine so that it cannot flex, bend, or deflect and they must isolate the machine from the foundation to stop the transmission of generated energies into the foundation.
Are the technicians from the supplier on hand to oversee the training, installation, and commissioning processes? Schedule these actions with the qualified staff at your manufacturer or the service experts from the supplier as soon as you are aware of the delivery date.
Is there enough light for the new equipment, both for installation and for ongoing operation? Think of multiple approaches to illuminating the installation area for workers so that they can do the work effectively and safely.
Can equipment be kept for a long time in a dry room without degrading if pre-installation preparation doesn’t go as expected and you’re not ready to install by the scheduled date? If you want to keep your equipment from deteriorating, determine if you have a dry area to store it.
How much time do you have to remove the old equipment and install the new equipment, according to the production team? In the event that installation or commissioning takes longer than anticipated, do you have a “Plan B”? With the project manager’s approval, confirm the time required and create a backup strategy.
Do you have everything you need to commission the equipment? Make a list of everything you will need to operate your equipment and conduct testing.
Do you have a forklift or other items that can help you transport the new equipment from the delivery truck to where it needs to be within the plant? You should also consider any additional supplies and equipment, such as ropes, crowbars, welding equipment, slings, etc., that may be required for handling or installing equipment. Discuss this with your supplier. This is where a reliable rigging and millwright partner can be of great help.
After installation and commissioning, which spare parts should be kept on hand? You will require a kit for commissioning at the very least, but you should be prepared with information on the most common parts to fail or wear out so you can have backups ready to go.
Inform your supplier of all internal standards, training requirements, and safety procedures at your facility. Make sure your supplier is familiar with the security policies at your facility so they can adhere to them effectively. Suppliers are adept at dealing with numerous clients and, therefore, dealing with numerous safety standards.
Participate in the supplier’s factory acceptance test (FAT) at your facility. This will improve your knowledge of the equipment and can raise concerns for you before it’s too late. The intention is to prevent heavy machinery installation surprises. If at all possible, involve maintenance and production personnel, and continue to inform and educate production staff about the new machinery.
Plan to train all operators and maintenance staff. Inform the supplier whether night shift workers require training so that it can be scheduled as well.
Set up a follow-up appointment with the supplier’s technician after the heavy machinery installation has been completed. Your employees’ learning curve will be shortened by doing this, which will be even more crucial when you convert from manual to robotic or automatic equipment.
Inquire about preventive maintenance (PM) from your supplier: What must be done, and how frequently? Notify the reliability engineer at your plant that new equipment requires PM. The client services staff of the supplier can explain each phase of its after-sales assistance process.
Last Thoughts On Heavy Machinery Installation
No matter the size or scope of your project, when it comes to heavy machinery installation you should be certain that you are prepared and have a plan in place to ensure success. There are many moving parts to a project like this, both literally and figuratively. Going through the plan thoroughly with your team, your supplier or manufacturer, and any rigging and millwright partners is going to make or break your plans.
If you are uncertain about any aspect of your project, lean on the expertise of a partner like Murphy Rigging. With decades of experience, we have likely seen your scenario and handled it with success. We not only have the experience and management skills for a project such as this, but we also own all of the equipment you will need.
Whatever your need, be certain to think through all possible scenarios and plan accordingly. This will ease your mind and provide a plan no matter the hurdles that pop up. In the end, a safe and successful heavy machinery installation is what matters. Need help? Allow the experienced heavy machinery installation team at Murphy Rigging assist in making your project a success!