Case study : Modular Sanitaryware Plant
Although primarily known for its experience in the design of kilns, dryers and furnaces, CGE has developed an expertise in the design of complete sanitaryware facilities. This culminated in the installation of a complete turnkey facility for HJ Ceramics in Brighouse, established as the manufacturing arm of Heritage Bathrooms. One of the keys to the success of this latest project has been the use of the modular concept, which CGE had previously employed so successfully elsewhere. The Brighouse installation was to benefit significantly from this experience. The principle underlying the modular concept is that large scale production plant is assembled as a series of smaller production units over a period of time. This allows considerable elements of capital cost to be defrayed and allows revenue generated by the first units to support the construction of additional units. In the case of HJ Ceramics, there are two phases - the capital cost of phase two is approximately two thirds of that of phase one. This two-phase method has several advantages: - * By reducing the initial capital cost necessary for production, the overall risk element of the project was significantly reduced. * By obtaining production out of phase one, revenue becomes available to ease the financing of phase two. * The smaller phase one unit was able to be in production more rapidly than the larger unit. * Consequently not only were financial returns more rapid, but by having the production underway, it was possible to benefit in the design of phase two, with the experience derived from the results and operating systems of phase one.
Delays in obtaining access to the 60,000 square ft unit meant that the original 18-week plan had to be compressed into a mere 12 weeks in order to meet targeted production schedules. This tight schedule was achieved and progress from an empty factory to first casting was indeed within this 12 week period. During this time it was necessary to supply all the gas and electrical services as well as modifying the unit's civil work to accept the construction of the mould shop, effluent treatment plant, return slip, compressed air house, drainage, and other items. This work was all overseen by CGE who were appointed as the main contractor as well as plant designer.