That industrial production is reliable and sustainable is a key metric for industrial manufacturers. A lot of challenges make this difficult to achieve- power grid failures, blackouts, unforeseen emergencies, facility/plant shutdowns due to repairs, replacements, upgrades, or overhauls.
Looking at the spate of pre-existing challenges hampering production, such as the ones highlighted earlier, modern manufacturers are turning instead to mobile, modular, containerized units. These units can supplement or replace basic functions expected of any facility such as power storage, water treatment, water pumping, safety, etc. on a temporary or permanent basis. These modular units can be customized to meet a specific requirement(s) and deliver results in a fraction of the time it normally takes to build a regular unit whether on/off site.
Collaboration is necessary to build flexible design options and make the unit an asset. Its utility can extend even beyond storage or treatment solutions, to offices, control centers, and kitchens. An organization using multiple locations can easily transport the modular units from one site to the other at any time.
Modular trailers can be designed to be rapidly deployed and utilized for power generation, water treatment, distribution, storage. Design will take into importance the advantages of variety of specifications and sizes, and take into consideration output capabilities and environmental impact.
Going Beyond Traditional Limitations
Originally, the limited amount of available space near the production line was the most important factor constraining adding capacity to an existing industrial facility. Even for facilities with proper planning of office space, the structures needed to house equipment outdoors- for power, water treatment, etc. are slow to get constructed, expensive, and superfluous if the need for them is temporary.
Talk of modulating these trailers for utilization of industrial equipment has been going on for quite some time in the facility management industry, but there have been no specific applications to tailor these solutions to. Valuable time can be lost trying to receive a mobile solution, especially when these units are produced by companies who outsource most of the work to subcontractors who are not even on-site. These create lead-time constraints and leave bottlenecks.
Trying to build supplemental systems to be delivered to remote sites when needed can be beneficial in terms of schedule and cost, especially where no skilled labor is available at the installation site. It is also beneficial when many systems must be installed in parallel. Then sub-systems are built and delivered ahead of schedule.
Today, the need for fast, flexible, collaborative construction of mobile assets are being met by vertically integrated design and fabrication firms, which are able to adjust scale quickly for larger projects. This ensures the continuity of industrial production even on short notice.
Expediting delivery and specifying it to a particular process is very critical because manufacturers may not always have advance notice to the effect that supplemental water, power, or energy is required during an operational run. This could be due to emergencies or poor maintenance strategies.
When manufacturers work with a firm offering in-house design, engineering and fabrication, mobile unit delivery and customization becomes faster and can outperform traditional delivery by 50%. Practically, this means that a partially customized modular unit in a container can be received in 12 weeks, compared to an industry typical of 24 weeks, or for a fully customized one, 20 weeks versus a whole year elsewhere in the facility management industry, wherever available.
The essence of fabrication cannot be overemphasized, as a firm must possess this along with full engineering capabilities. This will prove crucial in resolving issues that arise from the drawing board to the practical aspect.
A firm that allows design and fabrication teams to directly relate and rub minds routinely will avoid delays and other problems. Misunderstandings and arguments that could derail the project are avoided.
Flexibility, adaptation, and collaboration should be emphasized because circumstances can vary. It is necessary that the modular units are made for easy interconnection, especially for larger projects.
The advantage of modular units is the opportunity to optimize function within a minimal spatial footprint. Like Lego blocks, a generator unit, power storage unit, pump, filtration units can all be linked to optimize performance. Additional mobile units can be added for support purposes. If centralized control is necessary, a mobile command center is simply added, and information is distributed more efficiently.
Mobilized solutions can be supplied for almost any industry requirement. They can be utilized across a variety of settings, used as temporary onsite work locations with seating, resting, and kitchen facilities installed. If space is at a premium, expandable trailer units can be fashioned with hydraulic bump-outs, so more space is freed for other purposes.
Today, manufacturers have a wide variety of deploy-able, customizable mobile containers to ensure reliable and sustainable production in spite of emergencies such as power failure, and are able to perform preventive maintenance, plant expansion and/or upgrade.