One of the primary responsibilities of being a factory or operations manager is to ensure production targets are met, if not exceeded.

Essential to this is the continuous review of production efficiency which may lead to the relocation, refurbishment, or removal and replacement of machinery for more technologically advanced equipment. Another outcome might be a complete re-organisation of the production facility in order to maximise output.

Machinery out of action means lost production, so it is beneficial to the customer that improvement works take place when machinery is not in operation, therefore ensuring production output is minimally affected.

Merritts regularly operate out of standard working hours and can also accommodate night and shift working as well as weekends for moves that are time and/or production sensitive. We offer free site visits within the UK and are available 365 days of the year.

We work for many leading manufacturers, in a multitude of industries including; automotive, aerospace, print, plastics & rubber, food & drink, waste & recycling, textiles and metalwork, providing bespoke solutions tailor-made to the customer’s specific requirements.

Services can include the movement of a single machine to the installation of entire production lines. Internal machinery relocations are regularly carried out to assist customers requiring a production change as well as the transportation and installation of brand new machinery for original machinery manufacturers.

Merritts are SafeContractor accredited and we are continually striving to provide the safest possible working conditions: Our health & safety team conduct preliminary and ongoing site audits to reduce risk and maintain safe working practices. Risk assessments, method statements and lift plans are produced for every project and all plant, lifting equipment and machinery moving tackle is tested at regular intervals, meeting both LOLER and PUWER standards.

Please get in touch if you have a heavy machinery moving project where out of hours working is a major requirement, as we will be able to provide you with an efficient and cost effective solution.

Apologies for choosing such a very dry topic for a blog article, but this is highly important technical detail for anyone considering a heavy machinery moving project. Having an understanding of the health and safety at work regulations could help prevent accidents and projects falling foul of health and safety regulations.

Obviously one of the benefits of appointing Merritts to carry out your machinery moving project is because we’ll take care of all these details and ensure all the necessary risk assessments, method statements and regulatory documentation is produced.

You’ll also get peace of mind that your heavy machinery moving project will be looked after by experts who will ensure the machinery is transported and installed without accident or incident.

Here is an overview of the main regulations that must be considered during a heavy machinery moving project.

Health and Safety at Work Act

The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (HSWA) places a duty on employers to ensure the health, safety and welfare of employees as far as is reasonably practicable.

Where a heavy machinery moving project is concerned this means you must make suitable arrangements for managing a project, including the allocation of sufficient time and other resources.

CDM regulations 2015

The Construction (Design & Management) Regulations (CDM 2015) are the main set of regulations for managing the health, safety and welfare of construction projects. CDM applies to all building and construction work and includes new build, demolition, refurbishment, extensions, conversions, repair and maintenance.

As part of the planning process of a heavy machinery project, the CDM regulations must be considered, particularly if any of the works require modifications to the buildings in which the machinery will be removed, re-located or installed from new.

PUWER

PUWER stands for the ‘Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations’ 1998. The regulations deal with the work equipment and machinery used every day in workplaces and aims to keep people safe wherever equipment and machinery is used at work

This regulation requires that organisations ensure that the equipment used is suitable for its purpose, maintained to be safe and not risk health and safety and inspected by a competent worker who should record the results.

If you are planning a heavy machinery moving project, PUWER will have a heavy impact on your planning and approach and you will need to prove that the equipment used is fit for purpose.

LOLER

The Lifting Operations Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER) are set of regulations created under the Health and Safety at Work. They govern the use of lifting equipment.

LOLER regulations require that all lifting operations involving lifting equipment must be properly planned by a competent person, appropriately supervised and carried out in a safe manner. It also requires that all equipment used for lifting is fit for purpose, appropriate for the task and suitably marked, with suitable maintenance recorded and defects reported.

Where you undertaking lifting operations involving lifting heavy machinery you must:

  • plan them properly
  • use people who are sufficiently competent
  • supervise them appropriately
  • ensure that they are carried out in a safe manner

If you are considering a heavy machinery moving project, please complete our enquiry form .

PUWER stands for the ‘Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations’ 1998. The regulations deal with the work equipment and machinery used every day in workplaces and aims to keep people safe wherever equipment and machinery is used at work.

This regulation requires that organisations ensure that the equipment used is suitable for its purpose, maintained to be safe and not risk health and safety and inspected by a competent worker who should record the results.

If you are planning a heavy machinery moving project, PUWER will have a heavy impact on your planning and approach.

In the first instance, it your duty to ensure that work equipment is constructed or adapted as to be suitable for the purpose for which it is used or provided. In practice this means that the vehicles, lifting equipment, mounting supports and other specialist tackle are deemed suitable for use to move heavy machinery. In practice, this could mean not using your own fork-lift or other lift equipment as it may not be suitable.

Secondly, in selecting work equipment, every employer has to consider the working conditions and the risks to the health and safety of persons which exist in the premises or undertaking in which that work equipment is to be used and any additional risk posed using that work equipment. In a heavy machinery moving project this will be assessed as part of the risk assessment and the resulting method statements that are prepared detailing the scope of the project.

Thirdly, every employer must ensure that work equipment is used only for operations for which, and under conditions for which, it is suitable. In practice, typical examples may include not using any old wooden block to support a machine leg etc! In defining this regulation “suitable” means suitable in any respect which it is reasonably foreseeable will affect the health or safety of any person.

Summary

The purpose of the PUWER regulations is to ensure that those using and working with equipment and machinery, such as employees, employers, contractors, traders and anybody who could possibly have access to equipment or machinery in a workplace, does so in a safe working environment.

Whilst some will be looking forward to a well-deserved break during the Easter shutdown period, a busy production manager will be tasked with coordinating the installation of new machinery or the improvement of operational efficiencies.

The factory shutdown and employee holidays is an ideal time to carry out machine refurbishments and maintenance. It’s also an excellent opportunity to move heavy machinery or alter machine line configurations.

At Merritts we’re open 365 days a year, so if you are considering any of the following works, we’re here to help:

  • Relocating of heavy machinery
  • Production line alterations
  • Installing new machinery
  • De-commissioning and removal of machinery
  • Transport and storage for assets no longer in use
  • Machinery refurbishment and maintenance

 

Merritts Machinery Movers are leading specialists in the lifting, movement, transportation, installation and storage of heavy industrial machinery and equipment. From project start to project completion, we can provide you with the necessary resources to deal with every aspect of your machinery moving requirements.

We work across a variety of sectors and have evolved our machinery movers service into an industry leading package. We can provide a comprehensive turnkey solution, delivered by a full trained team, operating the most cutting edge lifting equipment currently on the market. Our machine movers package can include:

  • Heavy lifting
  • Loading and offloading
  • Floor loading calculations
  • Assembly and positioning of machinery
  • Alignment/Levelling/Core drilling/Bolting down
  • Connection to services
  • Decommissioning and recommissioning
  • CDM project management
  • Transport & delivery
  • Storage & warehousing

 

If you would like to discuss any upcoming projects, please get in touch with Merritts on 01623 759737 or email enquiries@merritts.uk.com

 

East Midlands Business Link Magazine recently sat down with Merritts, Owner and Managing Director, James Merritt to get his 2019 business predictions.

“In our business, we generally thrive in either a boom or bust economy. An uncertain economy, which has recently been the case, usually results in a fairly static order book. This was certainly the trend as we worked up to the Christmas break.

However, 2019 has started positively, and we’ve had a flurry of enquiries from manufacturers across all sectors who want our help to move and install machinery or re-configure their assembly lines.

It is therefore my prediction that more businesses will make a conscious decision to brush aside previous concerns over future trade agreements and will choose to determine their own destinies. The evidence we are seeing is that businesses are pushing forward with bold decisions in order to shape their own success.

My other prediction is that there will be an increase in health and safety legislation from regulatory bodies who have the remit to ensure businesses are fully committed to achieving the highest levels of health and safety performance.

As a heavy machinery moving specialist, we are expected to demonstrate that our industry leading practices are continually evaluated and improved. Our decision to appoint an ex HSE inspector to manage our approach to health and safety has provided greater focus on educating personnel and establishing safer working practices.

I am pleased to say that this development has been positively received by our clients and our commitment to continual improvement in this area will ensure our services remain in high demand.”

Merritts have announced a rise in both revenue and profits in accounts filed for the financial year ended June 2018 following the appointment of new Finance Director Alan Cundy.

Revenue has increased by £1.56m to £5.52m and profits have more than doubled from £320,000 to £870,000 over the same period. Merritts now also employ 42 people.

Commenting, Managing Director, James Merritt said, “It has proved to be a very successful year following a number of changes at board level. We appointed finance director Alan Cundy, and I moved in to a more customer-facing role. This has improved cost control and operational efficiencies.”

Finance Director, Alan Cundy, added, “A significant programme of capital investment started in 2018 and will continue into 2019 and beyond. This investment will assist us in meeting the growing demand for machinery relocation services within the UK and Europe.”

So far in 2018, the Merritts has invested £1.4m in new plant and equipment to support the growth plans and increase operational capacity. This has included 4 new Scania S500 tractor units, 4 new customised Mercedes Benz Sprinter vans and 4 new Hyster fork lift trucks. A new £100,000 Nooteboom low loader is also on order for delivery in January 2019.

The company has also increased staff employee numbers: Former HSE inspector, Lincoln Marks, has been appointed as the new health & safety manager, further enhancing Merritts commitment to safety in the workplace. Four new team members have also been appointed for driver/engineering roles.

As part of its expansion plan, the company intends to increase revenue to £10m by securing more global machine moving projects on behalf of manufacturers selling new machinery to UK based companies.

Merritts has a blue chip client base of industry leading manufacturers and supply chain partners in sectors that use heavy machinery such as aerospace, defence, automotive, print, plastics & rubber, food production and waste & recycling.

heavy machinery refurbishment

Merritts has 60,000 ft² of internal warehouse space serviced by overhead cranes, and a further 80,000 ft² of external storage space. This enables us to offer manufacturing businesses and machine tool specialists the opportunity to use our facilities as a base from which to carry out heavy machinery refurbishment and maintenance.

This service is frequently provided during the transport of a heavy machine to a new location, before it is offered for resale, or before it is temporarily decommissioned. This is because the machine owner sees this as an ideal opportunity to carry out a full overhaul so that the machine arrives at its new location in the best possible condition.

Obviously, whilst the machine has been in operation, it will have had its routine maintenance inspections carried out to ensure its continued safe operation and to avoid production breakdowns, but often, this has meant tooling engineers and inspectors working in confined spaces which may have limited access to all parts of the machine.

By transporting the heavy machinery ‘mid-move’ to our facility, engineers can have unlimited space within which to work and can use specialist lifting equipment such as Versa-Lift forklifts and overhead gantry cranes to enable them to move and lift the machine to access all sides and complete the inspection and overhaul.

Our inventory of specialist machinery moving plant and lifting equipment provides a workable solution to every scenario. All of our equipment is subject to stringent maintenance and testing procedures.

Machine tools specialists that have been approved to work on our site will have access to specialist equipment including:

  • Enerpac Super Lift gantry system (SL125)
  • Heavy duty lift trucks
  • Versa-Lifts (lift capacity up to 36 Te)
  • Lorry mounted cranes
  • Mobile elevating work platforms
  • Lifting beams and frames
  • Rigging accessories

Space is available to hire on a short or long term basis, with rates calculated accordingly. The package can be tailored to suit requirements and can include lifting facilities and access to power if required.

If you have a heavy machinery refurbishment requirement and need space to carry out the works please get in touch.

heavy machinery transport

Joseph Merritt Group Plc has announced plans to invest £1.4 million in heavy machinery transport and lifting equipment as part of an ongoing strategy to expand services across the UK.

The company, which specialises in the lifting, removal, transportation, installation, and storage of heavy machinery and equipment has already invested in 4 new Scania S500 tractor units and will shortly take delivery of 4 new customised Mercedes Benz Sprinter vans and 4 new Hyster fork lift trucks. A new £100,000 Nooteboom flatbed trailer is also on order for delivery in January 2019.

In addition, Merritts has added to its fleet of Versa-Lift trucks following the £300k investment in a further 60/80 truck which has the capacity to lift and carry machinery weighing up to 35 tonnes, which is a valued asset to machinery end users and manufacturers. The Versa-Lift’s compact design also makes it an ideal solution when moving machinery in confined areas.

In total, Merritts will have invested £1.2 million in vehicles by the end of 2018. The remainder of the investment has equipped the new vehicles with bespoke toolboxes and lifting tackle, which includes specialist jacks, skates, chains and slings. This ensures each Merritts site engineer is fully equipped with the specialist tooling required to successfully carry out each project.

Commenting on the investment, James Merritt, Director, said, “We have ambitious plans for expansion over the next five years. We are investing in the equipment and people we will need to meet the growing demand for machinery movement services in the UK, Europe and beyond. It will also enable us to continue working for manufacturers who are moving factories or need to re-locate machinery within their existing premises.”

Funding for the investment was provided by Santander. Joseph Merritt Group Plc currently has a turnover of £6m and employs a team of 45 personnel who work from a fully equipped storage and bonded warehousing facility based in Kirkby in Ashfield, Nottingham. As part of its expansion plan, the company intends to increase revenue to £10m, create at least five new jobs and seek to attract more global machine moving projects on behalf of manufacturers selling new machinery to UK based companies.

The company has a blue chip client base of industry leading manufacturers and supply chain partners in sectors that use heavy machinery such as aerospace, defence, automotive, print, plastics & rubber, food production and waste recycling.

Merritts Machinery Movers are pleased to announce the appointment of Russell Taylor as the companies’ new Contracts Manager.

Russell brings more than 30 years’ experience in health and safety and project management to the role, after previously working with several leading manufacturers in the machine tool and engineering sectors.

As part of his role, Russell will now be responsible for the development of health and safety strategy and project management services, offering specialist support to the companies’ operations and technical sales teams.

After beginning his career as an engineering apprentice, Russell has gone on to gain significant experience with companies based throughout the Midlands, developing a wide range of skills within contracts, project management and health & safety.

Prior to joining the Merritts team, Russell spent 18 years as a specialist Logistics & Engineering Project Manager with an international machine tool manufacturer, offering support for the organisations sales and engineering teams.

The knowledge and experience that Russell has gained during his time in the machine tool sector makes him an ideal representative for our family firm and we look forward to many years of success with Mr Taylor.

If you would like to know more about Merritts or if you would like to discuss a project with our team, simply call us on 01623 759 737 or send an email to enquiries@merritts.uk.com

A recent machinery move and installation that was carried out by Merritts Machinery Movers has been featured on a specialist lifting and logistics website.

The article which featured on the Heavy Lift & Project Forwarding International website highlighted a recent machine move and installation of industrial fan casings, which Merritts carried out at a power plant facility in Radcliffe-on-Soar.

The article highlighted Merritts capabilities for transportation, lifting and installation and is currently available on the Heavy Lift & Project Forwarding International website.

To read the article, click here.

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