We have followed the needs of some clients and set up our own assembly center in South China.
I took some notes about the 6 phases we have followed, to get from idea to operation.
But first, for those curious of what a factory looks like just a few days after starting operations, I shot this video.
As you can see, it is messy. It will look more orderly in a few weeks. And processes should all be nicely in control in 2-3 months.
As I mentioned above, here are the 6 phases we have followed.
Phase 1: Picking up the right site
- Find 2-3 potential real estate agents
- Visits with real estate agent
- Compilation of information (size, rent, lift, operator recruitment, transport distance, dormitory, canteen, etc.)
- Compare quotations
Phase 2: Collecting regulatory information
- General anti-fire regulations: door, sprinklers, smoke detectors
- Battery storage regulations (temperature: 18-25°; humidity: 40-90%; bricks ≥15cm thick; fire extinguishers; no smoking policy; separate storage)
- Operator recruitment
- Operator training
- Key employee recruitment and training
- Dormitory rent and meal for workers
- Production cransfer preparation (tool and material list, transfer schedule, making buffer inventory, priority items to transfer for production trial, employee training, pick and arrange a transport company).
Phase 3: Decoration work
- Plan for the general layout
- Find 2-3 potential suppliers
- Compilation of information (toilets, production line, warehouse, office, decoration style, floor style, wall, grid, doors, ventilation, etc.)
- Visits with renovation suppliers and discussion about the layout on site
- Compare quotations, abilities, samples, and speed of renovation suppliers; decision
- Prepare decoration work schedule and follow up
- Consider the air ventilation type (noise, volume, air pressure, power, position), ceilling, wall, grid, warehouse racks, desk & chairs etc.
- Toilets layout, ceiling, wall, grid, fans
Phase 4: Setting up the office area
- Office layout
- Install electrical sockets
- Set up doors, locks, lights, floor painting, ceiling, air conditioning, cameras, meeting table, fridge…
- Set up an internet account and wifi router
Phase 5: Setting up the workshop area
- Workshop production line layout design, including material flow
- Total power usage calculation; discussion with building management
- Selection of production line, lights, fans, ventilation, compressor, etc.
- Installation of ventilation in right positions
- Installation of electrical sockets
- Plan and set up doors, locks, fans, lights
- Air volume and compressor
Phase 6: Setting up the warehouse area
- Warehouse layout design, including material flow
- Selecting a forklift and racks, purchasing
- Installation of racks
- Set up doors, fans, lights
All this look more linear than it should. All the layout planning should be done at the same time, of course. But I hope this can help other people preparing to set up their factory in a pre-existing building.
We could go into much more depth about the types of lines, the tooling, and so on. But that’s highly dependent on the type of production to be done.