Relocating a Paper Mill? Here’s How to Do It Well

paper mill

There’s quite a bit to consider when planning to relocate a paper mill, with moving parts aplenty—both literally and figuratively. But relocation doesn’t have to be a complete headache—not if adequate preparation precedes the move. It’s a tall order under most any circumstances to be sure, but there are procedures you can follow to smooth out relocation’s steep learning curve. 

What’s First

When planning to relocate machinery piecemeal, or maybe even an entire paper mill, the task at hand might feel like too much. Without proper setup beforehand, it is. The best prescription for a smooth paper mill or equipment relocation is this: be thorough. That sets up the entire process to move toward success. 

So, what’s the preferred plan of action? What comes first? Well, before any of the heavy lifting gets off the ground, it’s a good idea to assess the equipment’s actual working condition. Performing an exhaustive audit of your machinery and/or equipment’s health reveals if it’s worthwhile to relocate it. That way, you aren’t expending critical resources and energy on equipment that’s already broken down or on the verge. 

Diagram and Plan

If equipment seems to be in working order, the next step involves procuring a detailed diagram of both the machinery and mill layout—or drafting one if it’s currently absent. This helps underpin a successful transition to the mill-to-be, furnishing operators with needed utility parameters from the onset. 

In addition, a plan should be set that outlines a comprehensive timetable for the machinery’s relocation, addressing every single component. For wholesale paper mill moves, it may prove beneficial to stagger equipment relocation in order to keep downtime to a minimum. 

Keep an Informational Record

Before the move begins, all equipment information and data should be safely stored in a database that’s easily accessible. This database or portal should house critical assets, including control and utility tie points, as well as the asset tag or other form of equipment identification. 

Ensure Safe Handling

Whether contracting out help or using in-house personnel, your move will need to come with work instructions. These instructions will outline how machinery or equipment should be handled, making movers and packagers aware of the proper protocols. It’s good to define protocols down to a T to help reduce the chance of damage or injury. Your machinery is a hefty investment; work instructions help protect it. 

Streamline Cooperation

Moving parts aren’t solely confined to equipment and components—there’s also people, all with different roles that need to combine into a cohesive whole. Keeping the plant manager, foreman, relocation czar or contractor, and the utilities specialist all on the same page is paramount. They should all be working in coordination with one another to ensure a successful and speedy relocation process. 

Finally, well-defined testing requirements should be set after installation. These requirements will help the relocation team assess equipment condition and mark the move’s final success. 

It’s Your Move

Paper mill relocation is certainly not an easy task. But, at times, it’s essential. These guidelines aim to streamline the process, helping you avoid downtime and ease overall costs. 
Where the pulp and paper industry is, ProcessBarron lives. ProcessBarron provides total systems solutions industry-wide, which includes boiler relocation. If you’re in need of a slew of specialty services, turn to ProcessBarron. See how our solutions set you and your plant up for success; reach out to a representative or request a quote. For pulp and paper tips and trends, keep returning to our blog!