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Background

At the time of these events, Building 2 was being extended by 35,000 square feet. This was due for completion in July. Thereafter we had to install about 500 machine tools in this extension. Most of the movements were from Building 1. A few new machines were on order and some SPMs being built in Building 3 would also be located in this extension.

The manufacturing process in Building 2 was very sensitive to dust. The precision grinding and polishing operations were to very fine tolerances. For example, the clearance between barrel bore and plunger was 0.3 to 0.4 micron or 0.000012" to 0.000016". In this situation, fine dust particles could result in serious production defects.

Existing Procedure for Machine Relocation

Over the years, the company had built up a machine-shifting crew. One of my supervisors led this crew. A machine moving contractor's workers removed the item from its old site and loaded it on a special heavy-duty, low- slung trolley. They then manually towed the machine across the factory and internal roads to the new location. Company electricians disconnected and reconnected the machines. An electrical contractor dismantled the conduit and cabling from the overhead bus-bar and installed new or modified conduits and cables in the new location. A plumbing contractor did the piping work for the air and water supply. Company workmen handled the cutting-oil (or emulsion) tank draining and refilling. On average, this crew was able to handle 3 machine relocations per day. The machines were restarted in the new location within 12-14 hours.

New piping and conduits were fabricated in the contractors' workshops, located centrally between the factory buildings (see Figure 22.1). Once the machine was placed in the new location, they could measure the pipe/conduit dimensions. The plumbing and electrical contractors then went away to their workshops to cut and thread the new piping. Meanwhile, company workmen installed the cutting-oil tank, control panels, and other accessories. While the piping and cabling was being installed, the cutting oil (or emulsion) was refilled, so the whole process was reasonably streamlined and efficient.

The crew had to set up ladders to connect the conduits and pipes to the overhead services. This activity and that of locating the machines themselves produced dust. The crew took care to keep airborne dust levels to a minimum.

 
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