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Case Studies

Factory Move into New HQ for Vision Engineering

3rd July 2017

Background

Established in 1958, Vision Engineering Ltd has become one of the world's most innovative and dynamic microscope manufacturers. They have offices across Europe, Asia and North America, as well as a fully trained global distribution network. In Woking, they previously operated from three separate sites, which comprised of offices and departments for Development, Production, and Assembly. To improve efficiency, they designed and built The Freeman Building as the new UK Headquarters in Old Send, adjacent to one of their former sites. To manage the 6-week relocation programme, they hired IES with professional movers, Harrow Green.

Project requirements

At the first meeting with Vision Engineering, it was clear they wanted a single supplier to manage all elements of the move. Their major concerns were moving the two largest CNC machines (a MAZAK HYPERQUADREX 150 MYS and a KITAMURA H-400 MYCENTER) because these are critical to their production line. With the machines weighing approximately 27 tons, Harrow Green knew they needed specialist engineers for the factory move. So Harrow Green chose IES to support with site assessments during the tendering process. It was essential to coordinate a tight plan with Vision Engineering to minimise downtime while moving over 45 pieces of equipment.

Stephen Noake, Head of Relocation Services for Harrow Green in Bristol clarifies, “When moving offices combined with a factory, where any equipment weighs over a ton, we hire specialist engineers to do the machinery side of the move. We know IES having worked with them previously and trust them based on their experience. Their can-do attitude matches our own ethos and we would certainly hire them as our move partners again in future.” 

Logistical challenges

The factory relocation presented several obstacles. Even when the CNC machines were stripped down, the largest single part still weighed 18 tons. A raised concrete slab at the rear doors of the former site created a lift of approximately 3 ft. down to get the machines onto the flatbed trailer for transport.

At the new site, access was restricted to get the machines into the building, requiring a wall to be removed from between the building entrance and access into the Production space. A temporary roadway was also required for IES to transport the heavy machinery across newly laid kerb stones.

Outcome for the client

Harrow Green delivered the relocation programme on time, with IES completing all machinery moves within 11 working days, marginally earlier than expected. The whole team remained flexible to solve logistical challenges during the moves, which led to a positive testimonial:

“On behalf of Vision Engineering, I would like to express our appreciation and thanks for the manner in which you planned and executed the relocation of our manufacturing, research and administrative facilities, from our bases in Woking into the new premises in Send. The machine decommissioning and relocation activity presented many logistical problems which you diligently investigated, planned and executed.

We would have no hesitation in employing your services at any future relocation” David Glynn, Project Manager, Vision Engineering.