How to move a bending press from Austria to Saudi Arabia
It sounds simple: disassemble the machine, pack it up, ship it to Jubail and put it back together. But don’t be fooled: moving industrial machinery on this scale is a monumental task requiring a dedicated team.
September 2018 saw the start of the project to expand the production programme at Erne Fittings Middle East (EFME) to include elbows with an outer diameter of up to 24". What was needed was a larger bending press, as well as a elbow saw, beveling machine, heat treatment system and dipping plant. Some of these machines were imported from Schlins, while others were purchased new.
Responsibility for heading up this challenging project fell to Klaus Tschabrun. In addition to coordinating and overseeing the costs of the relocation, he was tasked with devising the layout for the new machinery, in order to maximise the efficiency of the production process in the existing production hall. The biggest challenge was moving the bending press from Schlins to Jubail. A team of six installers (three from Schlins and three from Jubail) was put together to disassemble the machine in Schlins and then reassemble it in Jubail. Once the machine was up and running, the operators in EFME were also given training by some of the most experienced members of the Schlins team, meaning a total of eight staff members travelled from Schlins to Jubail for the relocation.
In addition to technical challenges, the project also provided an opportunity for the teams to exchange knowledge and learn more about each other’s cultures. Both sides discovered new techniques and approaches and learnt that sometimes you can achieve the same goal through very different routes. “Working so closely together definitely helped us better understand each other’s cultures and will certainly improve our collaboration in future,” explains Klaus Tschabrun. “The three months I spent in Jubail were really exciting and a brand new experience for me.”
Since the relocation, the bending press has been running beautifully in Jubail and in Schlins the team are turning their attention to their own relocation project – moving all of production from the current headquarters in the city centre to the larger Erne site in the industrial district of Schlins by the end of the year.
Erne News V04/ 2020