How to Anchor Equipment to Concrete Slabs

Factory equipment is always bolted down.
Factory equipment is always bolted down. (Image: Felipe Dupouy/Lifesize/Getty Images)

Industrial equipment like punch presses, stamping machines, lathes, mills and extrusion cutters is always bolted down to keep it from vibrating around the shop. In new factories, where the location of every piece of equipment is preplanned, the bolts that restrain the equipment can theoretically be set in place before the wet concrete floor dries. But even with new buildings, that is not usually the way things get done. Usually the slab cures, the equipment is chosen and then those machines get bolted down.

Things You'll Need

  • Bolts
  • Steel ruler
  • Expansion anchors
  • Masonry drill bit
  • Touch-up paint or nail polish
  • Concrete drill or hammer drill
  • Air hose and compressor or other source of compressed air.
  • Hammer
  • Open-end wrench

Mark the locations where you want bolts to anchor your equipment. Heavy metal tabs on the base of the equipment will have bolt holes precut.

Measure the length of the bolts you intend to use to anchor your equipment with a steel ruler. You will recess each female expansion anchor an 1/8-inch deeper than that into the concrete slab. Expansion anchors come in multiple sizes to fit various bolts.

Mark the depth you will need to drill into the concrete slab to properly install the expansion anchors on a masonry drill bit with touch-up paint or nail polish.

Chuck the masonry drill bit into a concrete drill or other hammer drill. Use a bit with the same diameter as the outside diameter of your expansion anchors. Drill into the concrete the depth you marked on the masonry bit. Drill holes for each bolt you must anchor.

Blow the debris from each hole you drill with an air hose attached to an air compressor or another source of compressed air.

Push the expansion anchors, nut end first, into the holes you drilled. Tap the expansion anchors into the holes with a hammer if necessary.

Center the bolt holes on the bottom of the equipment over the holes you drilled in the concrete and the expansion anchors. Insert the bolts you intend to use into the expansion anchors.

Hand-tighten the bolts. Tighten the bolt two full turns with an open-end wrench.

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