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Getting Ready for the Year Ahead with Heavy Machinery Installations During the Christmas Shutdown

The New Year is traditionally a time for new beginnings and that’s just as true in industrial settings as it is for those who make a mental note of resolutions every year. Often, those industrial fresh starts involve substantial activity over the Christmas shutdown period, with new machinery installation taking place at this time, ready to hit the ground running when the first shift begins again in January.

Machinery Installation to Prepare for Change

Machinery installation is always a focus for the Christmas shutdown period as industrial operators use this scheduled downtime to introduce new assets and carry out any modifications required to the layout or building services. This year, however, planning machinery installation for this period has never been more critical. Following the upheaval and altered commercial landscape prompted by the pandemic in 2020, the UK will complete the Brexit transition period on 1 January 2021, creating new challenges and opportunities. As a result, it’s the ideal time to realise any plans to diversify, enhance productivity or increase capacity by installing new equipment or replacing existing machinery.

Ensuring Machinery Installations Go to Plan During the Christmas Shutdown

Ideally, any machinery installation required during the Christmas shutdown period should be planned as far in advance as possible and as much of the groundwork should be done in advance to maximise the value of the available downtime.

Our experienced team work with clients to plan their machinery installation projects, developing a method statement and risk assessment in advance and understanding the technical and operational requirements of the project. This may include diversions or upgrades to mechanical and electrical services, preparation of foundations and footings, floor preparations and positioning checks and drilling and preparation of floor fixings.

It is also not uncommon for temporary modifications to be needed to the building to enable access for machinery installation. Once again, this needs to be factored into the schedule for the machinery installation project and there is potential for this essential preparation work to be carried out in advance of the shutdown while the facility remains operational.

Another key area of planning for machinery installation during the Christmas shutdown is arranging the logistics and the resources required for the installation programme. As this is a key time for maintenance and logistics, booking transport and ensuring the right personnel with the skills and experience needed are available are essential elements of a successful project.

An Integrated Service for Machinery Installations

Thanks to the interdisciplinary expertise within our in-house team and our national fleet of vehicles and specialist lifting equipment, AIS Vanguard has the resources to plan, co-ordinate and implement machinery installations during the Christmas shutdown.

We can handle the whole machinery installation project with full CDM management, including risk assessment and method statement, logistics, lifting, mechanical and electrical connections, testing and pre-commissioning and commissioning. Our team can provide a critical path, aligned to your deadline and operational requirements to help you make the most of your Christmas shutdown for machinery installation and begin the year ahead ready to maximise your potential.

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Christmas Shutdown: Plan Early, Plan Well to Maximise the Value of Downtime

It may feel like we fast forwarded straight from early spring to mid-autumn this year, but, in industrial settings at least, the normal routines of the calendar still apply. With local lockdowns and fluctuating R numbers, how we’ll celebrate the festive season at home is still uncertain, but the predictability of a Christmas shutdown is more important than ever. As we look ahead to 2021 and the demands of competing during the recovery, it’s essential to plan ahead for scheduled downtime, including all heavy machinery installation, decommissioning, removal or relocation requirements.

At AIS Vanguard, we specialise in working with companies across a huge variety of industrial and commercial sectors to help them maximise the value of planned downtime, including the Christmas shutdown. This is the most important maintenance period for many operators, which often means disconnecting assets to enable maintenance, machinery removal to allow work to be carried out on the building or heavy machinery installation to replace redundant assets or adjust process capabilities.

Our role is not just providing the specialist equipment and on-site expertise to carry out projects, including technical and complex lifts and all mechanical and electrical requirements; it’s also to help our customers to plan their project, ensuring their objectives are met and the value of their Christmas shutdown is fully realised.

This year, that planning process is more critical than ever. 2020 has been a challenging and unpredictable year, which has resulted in spikes in demand for some, while others have been operating at reduced capacity. As we look ahead to 2021, it’s clear that there is more uncertainty ahead, which, combined with the extraordinary times that have affected us all over the past few months, means that businesses may need to think beyond their usual Christmas shutdown routines and use the time to optimise their assets, both operationally and commercially.

As an experienced industrial services specialist with a 40-year track record, AIS Vanguard has the expertise, resources and equipment assets to support industrial and commercial companies in leveraging maximum value from their Christmas shutdown. Our team works with customers to understand their commercial priorities and operational parameters for the Christmas shutdown period so that we can advise on sequencing activity in a way that is time-efficient and aligned to both their objectives and their budget.

This approach includes creating a critical path with clear and accountable deadlines for each element of Christmas shutdown maintenance and asset optimisation requirements, along with a detailed and bespoke method statement and risk assessment. Our team works with customers in the lead up to the shutdown over the Christmas period to finalise these plans and carry out any preparatory work that can be done while the environment is still operational. This may include diversions to mechanical and electrical services, modifications to the building for access or egress, or decommissioning and removal or redundant assets to make space for new machinery or construction work.

With as much as possible planned and carried out in advance, we can then work with customers to deliver their industrial services requirements within their Christmas shutdown period. Our team ensures we are ready to hit the ground running when the customer’s last shift ends and have completed all activity in time for the first shift to begin on time when the Christmas shutdown period is over.

The Christmas shutdown is so much more than a marker of the end of the year in many environments; it is a staging post for operational efficiency and commercial strategy for the year ahead. Our philosophy is to plan well and plan early and, in a year where thinking ahead has been more complex and challenging than ever, meticulous planning and implementation of Christmas shutdown maintenance and adjustments has never been more vital.

Plan Your Christmas Shutdown with AIS Vanguard

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COVID-19 Support for Manufacturing Supply Chain from AIS Vanguard

As you are undoubtedly aware, the COVID-19 pandemic is currently sweeping the globe. Our clients deserve to know what we have done, what we are currently doing and how we can continue to help all industries during this time.

Whether it’s the movement of machinery, stock or medical equipment, AIS Vanguard is here to help. We are maintaining a 24/7 service during this challenging period, which means we’re on hand when you need us most.

Measures are in place to make sure that our staff and clients are safe during all operations, including high levels of cleanliness and minimal close contact with colleagues, suppliers and clients.

Our skilled in-house team provides reliable support for business-critical projects because our services do not depend on third party contractors or companies. This means our customers’ projects are never disrupted due to supply chain issues.

Our multi-site, nationwide service ensures that we have the flexibility and resources to re-allocate staff across the UK, so we can support you where you need us most. Our continued investment in technology, equipment, storage facilities and employees mean we’re ready to meet high levels of demand throughout the COVID-19 crisis.

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Heavy Machinery Relocation Services

AIS Vanguard has been built based on our reputation on reliability, quality and safety within the industrial market, and as such we are recognised as one of the UKs leading experts for machinery relocation and removals.

How we can Support:

  • Production Line Relocations, Installations, Connections & Maintenance
  • Equipment & Machinery Recommissioning
  • Equipment & Machinery Moving
  • Equipment & Machinery Installations
  • Transport & Storage Services
  • Inventory Management

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