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Industrial installation requires project management

Successful industrial installation requires professional project management, keeping track of all the different aspects, and ensuring the right balance between experience, manpower, and the customer’s needs.

For companies, dismantling a machine, transporting it to a new location, and reinstalling it is often a once-in-a-lifetime project. For a professional industrial installation business, this is an everyday activity. Both ways of looking at it are equally valid. A machine is at the center of a company’s existence. If anything should happen to it, the business would be at risk. Meanwhile, for service providers such as Scholpp, transporting these machines is a matter of routine. That’s fortunate, because routine means experience, calm, expertise, foresight, and knowledge of all the obstacles that may lie in wait for the customer.

Experienced project managers make sure that all the processes dovetail, every detail is thought of, and when uncertainties arise, they can deal with them promptly. In principle, there are three possible scenarios: a machine is being newly installed ex works; a machine is being dismantled at location A and reinstalled at location B; or it is being stripped down for storage or scrap.

Preparation is everything

Whatever the scenario, one thing is for sure: preparation is everything. Some companies have a very clear idea in advance as to when they want to move which machine, by what means, and over what time period. For others, it is more of an abstract notion. In this case, an industrial installation partner helps to bring clarity. During a site visit with the customer, the partner will analyze what preparations are necessary. At the same time, they will clarify how responsibilities are to be divided and which organizational interfaces should be established between the company and Scholpp.

Find out what items are on SCHOLPP’s comprehensive checklist for ensuring a successful project. For download click here. [1]

The right person for every project

It is important for the professional industrial installation firm to assign a suitable project manager promptly. Being able to offer the right person for the job is crucial for the success of the installation. It makes a difference whether the machine to be installed is a machine for the printing or textile industry, or a proton therapy machine for treating tumors. Both require experienced specialists – and a professional installation partner needs to be able to provide them, along with proof of their qualifications.

Clear discussions for clear project management

The subsequent detailed discussions are quite complex. It is necessary to define the full scope of services, from rigging, dismantling, and reinstallation to electrical systems and dealing with control elements. Risks are also discussed, and preparations are made to manage them. David Schott, Member of the Management Board at SCHOLPP, knows all about the detailed work necessary for global industrial installations. “There is a lot to consider, especially for installations outside of Germany,” the regional manager explained. “Employees need to have a work permit, we need a transport permit for all the technical equipment, we need to know the legal restrictions in place locally, and lots more. This requires significant know-how and even more research, as these requirements can change rapidly.”

Personnel project management

When all the parameters are known, it is time to assign the best team to the project. Each project manager has a basic team in their own area of responsibility. If additional manpower is required for a job, they are booked in using the Scholpp scheduling system. “We can adapt dynamically to projects using the personnel scheduling system. This flexibility is our greatest strength – including, for example, the ability to organize how more than 100 employees from different branches will come to the site, where they will stay, how they will be fed and, above all, what they will need to work on together,” added Angela Kermer, Head of Industrial Personnel.

Depending on the size of the project, the crew for an industrial installation job will comprise one or more teams, each consisting of an installation manager as lead, senior fitters, and specialist mechanical and electrical fitters. They are coordinated by the respective project manager, who has had full responsibility from the outset and therefore has in-depth knowledge of the project.

Technology project management

Alongside the personnel, the choice of technology is a crucial factor for successful industrial installation. Project managers need to precisely clarify two things. What technology do we need? And where are we going to get it? Ideally, they will use equipment from their existing inventory. This will include forklift trucks, cranes, lifting equipment, and sling gear. Where necessary, professional companies such as SCHOLPP can even develop and construct custom solutions in order to carry out a project. Another option is to order equipment on site in the host country. In this case, it is important to include the suppliers in the project, right from the offer stage, for both calculation and organizational purposes.

And then: it’s time to start.

Once the project has officially started, the project managers, installation manager, and team meet on site, discuss all the work steps and safety measures (which can vary significantly from country to country), and start to dismantle the machine. The project and installation managers remain in close contact, updating each other regularly on progress. If anything unexpected occurs, this should be discussed immediately and communicated to the customer. Daily meetings on site and regular telephone or online meetings are all useful means to this end. Once the project is finished, the project manager is then back in charge for the final inspection on site together with the customer.

There are some things you cannot plan for

Project management is a bit like life: lots of things can be planned, but it is not possible to predict every eventuality. A good project manager therefore plans for the ideal situation, but at the same time must be an excellent ad-hoc manager as soon as something unexpected occurs. There’s always something – and when an unforeseen situation arises, an experienced installation partner will find a creative solution to deal with it, in coordination with the customer.

Using innovative solutions

Industrial installation is becoming increasingly complex, as machinery becomes ever more customized and technically sophisticated. That’s why modern businesses like SCHOLPP rely on the latest technologies and equipment. From cutting-edge industrial equipment and in-house innovations to digital solutions, which can be used to simulate and demonstrate a tricky dismantling job in 3D before tackling it in real life: a professional industrial installation firm needs to keep up to date so they can keep their customers moving.