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Factory Design and understanding the whole problem.

This step will guide the success or failure of every Factory Design project.

You know your business, you know your factory, you know your production line, and you know the problem you currently have.

Therefore, it stands to reason that you also know the solution you need, right?

Well – no, probably not.

You see, when it comes to Factory Design, it is the understanding of both the initial problem, as well as the ramifications and scope of the potential solutions that will make the difference between failure and success.

The pursuit of innovative and efficient solutions to complex problems is at the forefront of every factory design project. However, a common pitfall that factory design engineers often encounter is the reliance on pre-conceived solutions; that is “the way it’s previously been done”. While established methodologies can provide valuable insights, rigid adherence to predetermined approaches can hinder creativity, impede problem-solving, and lead to suboptimal outcomes in factory design projects.

Understanding the problem involves active listening and conceptualisation of the problem before approaching a solution.

Understanding comes from experience and from curiosity. It involves both the literal understanding of a project, such as:

  • machinery and equipment
  • technology
  • industry codes

It also involves understanding the nuances and future requirements of the client, their products, their resources and their factory design.

Understanding and listening are critical steps and, when used together, are the foundations of the success of the whole project.

A thorough understanding of a problem leads to:

  • Comprehension of the macro factory environment, well beyond the immediate micro issue
  • Effective, operationally sound and future proofed solutions
  • Potential solutions to problems of which a client may not have foreseen or even be aware
  • Optimal efficiency, saving valuable time and money across all phases of the project and avoids costly redesigns and retrofits.

Clients will often present a problem as well as the solution as they see it. That is, they start by requesting a solution that they think they need without understanding the full extent of their problem.

Without a thorough understanding of the problem, the design could;

  • At best, create a sub-optimal or short-term solution that would require redress in the near future;
  • Cause bottlenecks, mistakes, scope and resourcing blowouts and more issues than the initial problem itself;
  • Limit creative thinking and impede the exploration of alternative and potentially more innovative ideas and subsequent solutions; and
  • At worst, need to be scrapped and completely restarted.

Even the most experienced clients can come unstuck at times because factory design engineering is simply not their area of expertise. Fortunately for them, there are Factory Design experts such as CDE Design Solutions who are there to solve their factory design problems.

“Understanding of the whole problem is the key to saving the costs throughout the life of a project and beyond “

In almost all cases, without listening and understanding, an initial scope will simply not solve the problem because the problem itself is not correctly understood.

At CDE Design Solutions, our design experts view this critical step 1 of listening and understanding as essential rather than a “nice to have”.

Our experience and exacting measures to uncover every stone ensure the success of your factory design project.

Starting to think about your next project? Talk to us today.

^ Originally published in Food & Drink Business Magazine | February/March 2024