Source: Interstate News, Fall / Winter 2008
Interstate Container Fitchburg, MA, plant was relocated in its entirety from a 200-year-old textile mill building into a very new industrial campus building in Westminster, MA. The move began on June 9th and, with the last of the equipment moved into Westminster from Fitchburg, it was completed on August 11th.
In order to facilitate the maximum completion of tasks in the minimum amount of time, a very aggressive schedule was developed – carving out 110 days from the “OK” to proceed – to the final commissioning of all equipment and operations.
Any movement or displacement of manufacturing equipment can have an adverse affect on customers and plant personnel. Moving an entire plant and inflicting little ‘pain’ to our customers and employees was a mandate that underwrote the project planning.
Countless meetings and hours were spent on planning and interaction with every level and every employee that would be affected by the relocation. All input and comments were carefully weighed and considered in the development of the final schedule and plan.
In order to be cost-effective and to maintain the participation of employees, each and every employee participated to one extent or another in the process. A tremendous effort by all of the sales team and the customer service group at both Lowell and Fitchburg made it possible to keep all customers supplied with products as they needed them.
To not mention the contributions by each and every manufacturing and support personnel at Fitchburg– including the Shipping and Transportation Departments - would be a travesty, since they had to bear the inconveniences of disruption and still find a way to run orders and make deliveries.
Because the new building previously had been used as an inventory storage facility, new utility infrastructures had to be constructed for compressed air, sanitary and non-potable water,electrical, waste water, and foundations. This was no small task considering the timeline of 110-days, which included the final design layout, negotiation of contractors, and issuance of construction permits.
In order to meet the 110-day commitment, a14-hour/7-day a week schedule was adopted. The key to achieving the results was working closely with local management, customer service and sales, and the unrelenting effort of Fitchburg’s single maintenance man, Austin Fisher.
The results speak for themselves… the former Fitchburg team has a “new” home in Westminster, Interstate Container Westminster, that they can be proud of, and which they can all say that they built!