A new machine… a challenge to the process or an opportunity to prepare for the future? A temporary refrigeration unit can create that vital leeway to allow the arrival of a new machine to be the catalyst for a remodelled workspace.
Your business has been a success; of course it has! You have dedicated knowledgeable people, the skills to innovate and a reputation for excellent products to fine tolerances. It’s what the market demands so no wonder the order book has grown and the factory has been humming. Why then do you feel uneasy? Is it that you know the business has to grow and that will mean buying a new piece of equipment, a significant investment if you are a composites business and need, say, a new automated tape laying machine. Everything in the process is so interdependent that you feel reluctant to break into the cycle of success? Like a well-oiled machine, it’s all working now and yet you know that things must change, you’ll need to be able to deliver to the latest standards if there is to be a long-term outlook.
A perennial dilemma
It’s a Catch-22 situation that faces many successful businesses: not doing anything will eventually overload current capabilities or leave output quality at less than what the market will demand in the future; yet breaking into the current cycle of success with a new piece of equipment could disrupt the business now. What is needed is a plug-in capability for one part of the process so that, instead of breaking into the success cycle, enough pressure can be taken off in one area to allow change in another part.
Making space to improve the space
One area where leeway can be created is in the storage of prepreg. Hiring a temporary cold storage trailer to house stocks of raw material in properly controlled and controllable conditions will remove one concern from making changes in the machining area – the risk that temporary power failures or deliberate power shut-offs to allow machines to be moved around on the shop floor will cause even a temporary loss of refrigeration and make some of the stock unusable. It also means that full advantage can be taken of the chance to re-arrange the shop floor, including the refrigerated storage unit; it might even create a chance to service the cold store and clean the area and ducting around it.
By temporarily removing cold storage from the equation, a business can plan a more thorough re-organisation of equipment locations. What might have been simply the addition of a new machine wherever it could be fitted can become a remodelling of the production area to ensure the optimum productivity from all of the process, including the new machine. More importantly, the business will have enjoyed the upgrade that it needs to keep up with fast changing demands but without the disruption that can occur if change in one area has to be fitted around established machinery in another area and a production process.