Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Preparing for equipment installation

We are always glad to say that we are shipping equipment every day. In this economy, it is a feeling of security. As always, it is a feeling of accomplishment. It is nice to know that our products and services are thought well of.

One of the things that we regularly see with machinery installations is that the receiver of the goods is not fully prepared for the installation. This is in both small and large shops. From both the idea of a new flash dryer to the installation of a full shop of automatic machinery, we run into the same problems. Let me see if some of these tips will help future equipment owners.

Receiving the merchandise.
Be prepared for whatever type of vehicle that is delivering your product. That means the UPS guy. If you asked for the flash to ship COD, then have your money ready. He doesn't have all day. For larger purchases, a semi-trailer will be at your dock. Again, see if you need a check for the freight and have it ready. These drivers have many stops to make and they get paid by the hour. Let's move.

Now when the big truck arrives, you have to be prepared to get your merchandise off the truck and into your shop. You did not buy furniture from a furniture store. You do your own install.
  • If you have a dock height building, then make sure that you have a pallet jack or a forklift immediately available. It is not the drivers job to get it off his truck. It is yours.
  • You can request a lift gate on the truck. That will cost more and the crates that screen printing machinery requires are usually too large to fit on a lift gate. You still need a way to get it off the lift gate and into your building.
  • You can get a roll-back tow truck. We use these often for large items and big parking lots. These are flat bed tows with a winch system. They will drag the crate onto their bed, then lower the crate to the ground. They are usually $75 and do a great job. However, you need a parking lot and they will not help you get large items into your building.
  • Rent or borrow a fork truck or hi-lo. These can be rented by the hour. It will solve all your problems and they are not very expensive.
Tools you will need.
Did I mention that this is not furniture? Yes, I believe I did.

You will need all of the following:
  1. Hammer
  2. pry bar
  3. Utility knife
  4. drill -- complete with driver bits
  5. US or metric socket and open end wrench set
  6. allen head set
  7. tape measure
  8. level
  9. blood, sweat, tears
  10. beer and pizza -- after you are done
Be prepared to get rid of all the lumber that the machinery arrives in. Be prepared to install the parts. Even the stuff that comes on UPS has some assembly required.

Do not throw out any paperwork, CD-ROM or other possible reference guide. They are usually packed in a place that will keep them from falling out of the crate. Check all your packaging carefully. And, trust me, it did have instructions when it left the factory.

Take a deep breath.
Ok, you have it in your building. You have discarded all the packaging materials. You have kept all the instructions. Now take a deep breath and eat your pizza.

On my next installment I will talk about having the building prepared for the installation. That should be fun. I do get to define "electrician" and that should irritate a few.