Practice Project for Self Taught Newbies

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Expert Member
Expert Member
Posts: 132
Joined: Wed 08 Sep 2010 1:38 pm
Location: Westminster - London

As a self taught student, I have scoured the net to try and find a good real life practice project to use in my studies so I have come up with this project that I did in the 1980's though I didn’t know then what I have learnt now and it would have been a lot easier and a lot less stressful had I been trained for it. Even though, it was a success and a great piece of experience.

The project time is end of May of year X and we are looking to complete the project over the up and coming August bank holiday.

The outline business case. You work for a large plastics firm who have conducted a hostile buyout of a company some 200 miles away and intend to shut it down and move all the equipment to a workshop on your factory site. Three supervisors in the factory have been contracted to train up your new staff and problem solve over a three-month period after the installation of the new equipment. Secrecy is of paramount importance to avoid union action and delays in the transfer of the equipment.

Equipment and materials in the new firm:
20 vertical 2 ton compression presses, 2 small injection presses, 1 vibrating de-flashing machine, 1 pellet forming machine, 20 Radyne pellet pre-heaters, 1 forklift truck, 1000 ft run of pallet racking, 2 twelve foot steel tables for product packing and shipping, a variety of ancillary equipment associated with packing and shipping, 750 oblong stackable plastic boxes 30x24x24, 20 ton assortment of phenol powder in a variety of colours, 500 gallon oil tank and high pressure pump.

Machine Dimensions:
Compression presses footprint size = 36squ ins height = 9ft.
Injection machines 3ft 6ins by 6ft 6 ins by 5ft high.
Pellet forming machine 3ft 6ins by 6 ft by 5 high.
De-flashing vibrating machine 40 sq ins by 3ft high
Oil tank 4ft x 8ft x 4ft 6ins plus pump length = 3ft 6ins

The new department will run on a three shift system 0600 - 1400, 1400 - 2200, 2200 -0600. The department will come under the remit of the moulding production manager and will have one supervisor per shift. The relavant supervisors will also supervise the 2 finishing/shipping staff, labourer and a mould changer who will be working on days from 0900 - 1730.

Maintenance will be provided by the firms centralised maintainance and engineering departments.

Your brief is to clear out the new press shop, make it ready for the new equipment, install the new equipment, hire and train the new staff and iron out any problems within the three months allocated to the contracted three supervisors.

You may or may not be given the following information, however I have included it to help you with your visualisation of the project.

The new press shop is 70ft wide and 140 ft long with an apex ceiling with open beams; the height is 20ft to the eves.

Onsite facilities include both single and three phase electricity, water and sewage facilities and telephone connections.

Main considerations include but are not limited to:

Dust prevention is of paramount importance to prevent contamination of white moulding by other coloured moulding compounds. In particular, there should be no exposed horizontal pipes or beams above the height of the presses where dust can settle.

Ventilation and draught exclusion is another problem that needs to be addressed for two reasons, 1 to maintain and minimise press temperature fluctuations and 2 to avoid raising airborne dust particles that could contaminate mouldings.

Due to dust creation, the 3 phase pellet forming machine and its pallets of materials and storage boxes need to be in a closed room of its own. A size of 20ft by 10ft would be adequate for this purpose. Similarly the Oil pump house needs to be contamination free and in a room of its own, 10ft by 8ft should be adequate for this purpose.

Compression presses should be set up in two banks of 10 presses that are 3ft apart and set in oil spillage prevention gullies with 3 inch high borders. 14 ft clearance to the front and rear of the presses will be needed for fork lift access to add and remove moulds and do maintenance work.

The 2 self contained stand alone injection presses can be placed together facing each other with a five foot clearance to the rear, and sides as long as there is 14 ft clearance between the two fronts.

The raw materials storage racking area needs to be as far away from the presses but near to the pellet forming room for easy access.

The finishing / packing area can be placed in-between the raw materials storage area and should be near to the vibrating flash removal machine.

A suitable area should be set aside for an open plan supervisor’s office area.

Decoration of the workshop should take into account the psychological philosophy of an increased mass production environment.

The floor should be painted with suitable oil resistant pain and diagrammatically laid out for health and safety regarding the forklift truck usage.

Transportation to be provided by XYZ Transport Company in the form of 5 x 35ton articulated trucks.

This part is considered a bummer of a duty but you could be asked to do it.

Your job at the new factory site includes planning and overseeing the handing out redundancy notices to the employees as they arrive for work and dealing with any ad-hoc problems that may arise prior to securing the site (you will need to make adequate provision for any eventuality).

Note, this was a real project and you have been given a lot more information than I was given at the time, you must read between the lines and look for the logical implications and requirements to make the project run smoothly and successfully.

You can make up your teams and their roles and responsibilities and the financial aspects of the project, just use your common sense and keep it realistic.

I hope this is very challenging and helpful; it should be a real brainteaser and cover every aspect of project management and a whole lot more.

Good luck and have fun.

Stephan Toth
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