Moving Heavy Machinery to Prepare For VIP Visits

Merritts provide heavy machinery moving services to a number of leading UK manufacturers who act as flagship role models for their industry and as a result may receive visits from high ranking government or trade officials.

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This often means moving heavy machinery to prepare for VIP visits in order to make space for the visiting entourage of dignitaries, guests, staff, and media film crews or, to simply make the factory floor appear more spacious and tidy.

We were recently contacted by a manufacturer of aerospace components because they were advised that a government minister wished to bring a counterpart from another country for a visit and tour of their factory.

The purpose of the visit was to showcase the manufacturing expertise available from companies in the UK. Due to the number of people that were expected, the company wished to move a number of CNC lathes weighing up to 25 tonnes each to another location within the factory but with minimal disruption to the production schedule.

Moving heavy CNC machinery is one of the specialities in which we have extensive experience. We have lifted and handled all types of heavy machine tool equipment and we take great pride in the fact we have in-depth knowledge of each machine.

Moving heavy machine tool equipment means using specific equipment. In this example we used the following equipment:

Our process started with a site visit to inspect the machinery and the floor condition leading to and from its location to understand any overhead impediments or width restrictions that would affect our ability to transport the machines safely to their new location. We also considered any traffic issues on site and carried out a complete risk assessment in order to help us prepare appropriate RAMS and detailed lifting plans.

Based on this site visit, we prepared a very clear explanation of the work involved in a tender document which was submitted for approval.

This particular job involved us being on site at 5am to avoid disrupting other production schedules and the entire process was overseen by a fully qualified Merritts foreman. All the team were dressed in Merritts branded uniforms and wearing appropriate PPE.

A full machinery decommissioning service was carried out which consisted of pre move checks to ascertain the current condition and calibration of the machinery. These checks included functionality testing, ball bar verification and laser alignment testing for each machine axis.

Once the decommissioning phase was complete, all service pipework was disconnected and each CNC lathe was unsecured from its floor mountings. The lathes were carefully lifted with a Versa-Lift fork truck and transported across the factory into the loading yard where they were loaded to transport via lorry mounted crane. Each lathe was then transported a short distance to its new location in an adjacent block on the same manufacturing campus.

Merritts had previously marked the floor where each machine was to be positioned in the new location. Core drilling was carried out in line with the manufacturer’s specifications. The machines were lifted from the Merritts low loader, transported via Versa-Lift to the new location and positioned carefully over the core drilled holes. Levelling pads and threaded bar were then attached to the machine fixing points and non-shrink grout, to manufacturer’s specification, was poured into the holes. Once the grout had hardened, the machine was bolted down securely.

Following the moving phase, all service pipework was reconnected and recommissioning works commenced. This comprised of post move checks which again included functionality testing, ball bar verification and laser alignment calibration for each axis. Once recommissioning works were complete, a PUWER assessment was produced.

In all machinery relocations of this type, our engineers ensure that the functionality and geometric performance of the installed machinery is at least to the standard prior to removal, and in some cases, improved.

If you have an upcoming project involving heavy machinery that needs removing, transporting or installing, please get in touch.

November 14, 2018 by Elliot Cook

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