Obviously, everyone is keen on saving energy! Manufacturers, however, are often more concerned about continuity of production than energy saving. Equally obviously, manufacturers would also like to save energy wherever possible, and in manufacturing plants the opportunities are everywhere.

The worst thing that can happen to a manufacturer is that their primary production equipment fails for some reason — which often happens in the middle of a very large order (Murphy's Law)! The immediate damage to output is obvious, but, if the failure lasts for long, a series of very expensive events can occur — often multiple times higher than people expect.

When equipment failure occurs, a lot of people with full-time day-jobs are suddenly called into meetings to try to solve a raft of problems. The most immediate ones are…

  • What went wrong and why?
  • What spares do we need?
  • Do we have them in stock? If they're not in stock, where do we get them from and when can we get them? Do we have to fly them in?
  • Who's going to install them? Do we need an outside expert?
Air Compressors
Industrial Pipes

Then there are more meetings involving management and operational staff concerning…

  • Lost production and unhappy customers.
  • Overtime required to catch up.
  • Subcontractors, consultants and engineers needed to investigate, repair, and get everything back up-and-running.

These are just the short-term costs, but there are medium- and long-term costs too, such as…

  • Lost orders and cancelled contracts.
  • Fixed costs that occur whether you are producing or not.
  • Higher variable costs from making up for lost production on inferior machines.
Oil Refinery
Paper Mill

Obviously, this is a worst-case scenario, but any significant failure will produce…

  • Wasted labor at multiple levels.
  • Wasted output from erratic production.
  • Additional spares added to inventory.
  • Extra time for shutting-down and starting up again.
  • The ongoing risk of losing customers.