As the premier manufacturer of flooring adhesives and floor preparation products for the contract flooring industry in the UK F. Ball and Co. Ltd, established in 1886, moved to its current 8½ acre site in Cheddleton in 1989 where it first encountered Fairport Engineering Ltd during the construction of its then new materials processing and handling plant (see above).
A growing market share driven by continual investment in product research, development and innovation over the next two decades led F. Ball and Co. Ltd to contact Fairport Engineering Ltd again in 2007 to consider the feasibility of various new state of the art processing & plant design scenarios. These activities were undertaken in parallel with specialist architects and planners and resulted in the project gaining planning consent in January 2008. Fairport was then engaged to work in partnership with F. Ball & Co. Ltd, in March 2008, to conduct an open book FEED (Front End Engineering Definition) assignment. Over the next 4 months the FEED developed the project, technically and commercially, to a sufficient level of detail and confidence to allow the investment to be considered for sanction by F. Ball and Co. Ltd and on July 1st F. Ball and Co. Ltd instructed Fairport to proceed with the design and build of the project (see below) on an open book basis with all cost savings being shared.
Time has now moved on and with it the products and the manufacturing standards that must be adhered to. Consequently F. Ball and Co. Ltd has been assessing the viability of expanding and remodelling their existing blending plant, supplied by Fairport 25 years ago, since earlier this year. As part of this exercise Fairport was once again invited to become part of the development process.
Fairport Engineering Ltd has now been instructed to proceed with the actual works themselves. These include the demolition and removal of redundant equipment and structures and replacing key items with new machines, such as mixers and packing machines, in order to achieve higher production levels. Equally, and as importantly, where existing machines and infrastructure are to be re-used these will be subject to refurbishment and upgrading in line with current ATEX and DSEAR requirements. As one would expect, the undertaking of this type of project within a production environment that dates back to 1989 presents a unique challenge. In order to address this issue safely Fairport has been appointed as both Principal Designer and Principal Contractor, roles that the company has undertaken successfully on any number of previous occasions. Another major challenge is that of integrating the work within the manufacturing production schedule in the least disruptive manner. To this end F. Ball and Co. Ltd and Fairport will commence the project on an open book basis allowing full visibility and clarity to be achieved regarding the sequencing of both on and off site works.
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