What Defines a “Well-Planned” Facility?

November 10, 2022

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Thorough and precise planning for a technology driven facility is essential to product R&D, project success, and innovation. At the heart of it, the building must be outfitted with the equipment and systems necessary to address the testing goal of the unit under test (UUT). Moreover, R&D test facilities have distinctive and multifaceted building requirements, including specialized temperature or humidity control, ventilation systems, power necessities, and safety needs. Establishing a thorough plan might seem straightforward but designing and constructing a facility that is truly “well-planned” requires many essential and complex elements.

A “well-planned” facility…

  • Starts with a clear, data-driven roadmap. According to Randy Rozema, ACS Principal and Director, Acoustics & Vibration, “We need to know what the primary goals are before going into a project and then translate those goals so when the design team gets involved, they have a roadmap.” This roadmap includes facility requirements, such as product testing criteria, in addition to project strategy, scope, budget, and schedule. Front-end planning helps the team evaluate risks, align stakeholders, and effectively allocate resources on an incremental scale, ensuring a sustainable budget.
  • Requires collaboration. Putting a successful facility plan roadmap in place requires input from all stakeholders at the earliest points of planning. This includes facility managers, test requestors, operators, and integrators. Different teams bring varying expertise and hands-on experience to create a seamless and achievable plan that delivers on project objectives.
  • Envisions future goals. A well-planned facility addresses current testing criteria, but also supports longevity. Current product testing is important, but ideally the new facility has a future lifespan. If front-end planning encapsulates facility objectives into the next five to ten years, the next generation of the product can be successfully tested in that same facility with accommodations and strategies for future growth.

Plan with a shared vision
Designing and constructing a facility from start to finish involves many moving parts. Planning with collaborative, precise, and data-driven goals in mind ensures the facility delivers on scope, timeline, and budget.

Delivering an integrated R&D, production or industrial facility construction project is a complex process that is best executed by a team with single-source responsibility. If you’re in need of a well-planned facility to put your goals in reach, connect with us. Our expertise in testing, equipment, and facilities provides the foundation you need to make a confident plan.

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Q: What can I do to combat long-lead equipment delays in today’s environment?

A: “In today’s environment, one of the ways we can reign in a project schedule is early planning on long-lead equipment, allowing you to order it early in the design process. As long as there’s enough information available to size the equipment, it is optimal to order equipment and then complete the design around that specific equipment, allowing the overall schedule to remain intact.” – Randy Rozema, Director, Acoustics & Vibration

The project included of a combination of new and relocated equipment, an environmental chamber, hot room, soak areas, engine exhaust systems and controls for test and infrastructure systems. Facility and infrastructure improvements included installation of 1-ton and 3- ton cranes, electric floor lifts, fuel tanks, and a shop fabrication area.

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ACS has 25+ years of multi-industry experience as a system integration services provider for complex processes in product R&D, testing, and production facilities. Over that time, we have developed and perfected a program for handling capital projects needing integrated test and process solutions that is built on subject matter expertise, skilled, disciplined project management, a proven process, and application knowledge.

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How To Go From Bar Napkin To Successful Capital Project

To develop an idea into a well-conceived, well-defined project, facility executives should consider these six steps during capital planning.

Read our full article in Facility   Executive Magazine 

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