Because minimum, legally-required spacing around equipment sometimes is not enough spacing to permit efficient maintenance, repair, and operations within a facility, engineering judgment must always concern itself with optimum spacing.
Don’t confuse “optimum” with “legally-required minimum” or with “what would really be nice to have.” The space is optimum when you’ve taken enough of the expensive floor space (or other space) away from direct production uses to permit efficient maintenance and to support safe and reliable production. Because judgment is involved, this is where the difficulty in getting management “buy in” comes in.
Management is keenly aware that space allocated to production brings in revenue, while space allocated to any other purpose does not. If they are good managers, they will seek to use as much of the available space as practical for production, rather than other uses. They really don’t have a choice if the optimum space is equal to or less than the legally required minimums. You just need to educate them on what those are.
If the optimum space is more than the legally-required minimums, you must move the discussion from the legally-required minimums to the numbers that will maximize the ROI on every bit of space you are “consuming” away from production.
Production equipment that can’t be safely and adequately maintained will stop producing. You need to show how the space you’re requesting is critical to keeping production running. We’ll look at this in Part 4.