Aerial view of chemical oil refinery plant

How to Plan for a Successful Plant Relocation

Plant relocations are when entire facilities change sites. Relocations may be needed if a company outgrows its current space, sees opportunities for lower operational costs elsewhere, wants or needs to change governmental jurisdictions, is consolidating facilities, requires modernization, or needs to move closer to suppliers and other resources.

Most relocations are fairly big projects that come with their own set of challenges. Fortunately, most of these challenges can be mitigated through intensive planning. If you have a major relocation project coming up, you’ll want to be sure that you don’t skip any of these steps during the planning phase. 

1. Contact an Experienced Industrial Contractor

A plant relocation can be a complicated process, so it’s important to work with a qualified contractor who can guide you with proven proficiency and knowledge. Industrial relocations are very different from standard commercial and residential property moves. Usually relocations will involve heavy equipment and machinery that can cause both injuries and fatalities if mishandled. Relocations may also involve various third parties, from millwright and rigging teams to electrical engineers to equipment and machinery installers. There’s just no substitute for a professional plant relocation company; they will act as a single source for you that you can trust to oversee all facets of the project. 

2. Create a Relocation Plan

Work closely with your contractor to develop a thoroughly cohesive relocation plan. It’s important to establish a timeline and plan for relocation that covers where new assets will be located and in what order they’ll be moved. It’s also crucial to understand where every asset will be situated in the new facility.

Furthermore, you need to determine the best order for disconnecting and disassembling your machinery, prepping it for shipping, relocating it, installing it, and reconnecting everything. Add some padding to your timeline to allow for hiccups.

3. Create a Detailed Map of the New Location

As previously mentioned, knowing where your equipment is going in your facility is a must. Having a comprehensive map of where the assets belong in the new location will save time and headaches during the relocation process, as well as prevent bottlenecks. Include as many details as possible in your map. Avoid the “We’ll cross that bridge when we get there” mentality. Don’t forget to focus on small assets as well as large ones.

4. Create an Inventory Checklist

It’s also smart to create a checklist of every piece of equipment or machinery that will be handled by your contracting company to ensure nothing is misplaced or lost. The new facility will be unfamiliar to your employees, and they will no doubt be very busy with new responsibilities. Misplaced items may not be recoverable and will cost thousands of dollars to replace.

5. Work With Your Utility Providers

It’s also important to communicate readily with your utility providers to determine if power, gas, or water will need disconnecting during the move, or turned on at the new facility by a certain date. Any such arrangements should be made well before the relocation process begins in order to avoid delays.

6. Prepare Assets for Transportation

Moving large equipment may require doors to be removed or passageways enlarged. Further, your plant relocation may require specific permits from the government, especially if structural accommodations need to be made. Also, don’t forget to determine whether or not flooring needs to be protected or modified, and if you require specialized authorization to haul your assets on public roads and highways. Carefully considering these types of possible issues and making all necessary preparations helps to avoid project delays and ensure a safer, more fluent transition.

7. Inspect After Relocation

Lastly, while the relocation is taking place, analyze your checklists and perform proper inspections to ensure the moved assets are in working order.

Some of the final details you’ll need to address include ensuring that your employees have entry keys and badges to the new facility, that company computers and phone lines are set up and working properly, and that your database is updated with current employee email signatures, addresses, and other contact information.

Relocate Your Industrial Plant With Help From IICC

Plan a successful relocation with help from our team at IICC. Founded nearly six decades ago, we’re an industrial construction company known for our quick turnaround times, detailed plans, and time-sensitive services. We specialize in transition services including installation, relocation, demolition and due care removals, project management, shipping, and warehousing. Contact us today with questions about your upcoming plant relocation or to request a project quote.