Protecting Manufacturers from Site Disruption

Tough market conditions, rising costs for raw materials and increased competition from foreign markets has left many UK manufacturers working on very narrow margins, with a need to maximise productivity to keep themselves financially healthy. One side effect of this is that for many manufacturing sites, lack of investment in equipment and infrastructure has left them with systems that are out-dated, approaching obsolesce or comprise a mixture of recent upgrades, repairs and replacements.

Aging equipment can be one of the biggest points of risk for a manufacturing site, with the potential to cause significant downtime and subsequent loss of productivity and profitability. Even when older equipment continues to function correctly, they often have far higher levels of inefficiency compared to more modern alternatives. This means more energy costs for businesses, as well as higher levels of carbon emissions associated with energy consumption.

Powerstar specialise in providing sites with complex infrastructure, energy usage and power resilience requirements with the support they need to implement energy management improvements. Delivering cost and carbon reductions, as well as protecting against the risk of disruption, Powerstar’s market-leading expertise in terms of assessing a site and delivering a tailored solution is vital to ensure that proposed projects deliver the benefits a customer expects.

Protecting Productivity

A global study into the impact of unplanned downtime on manufacturing businesses made the scale of the issue of downtime clear. Of the businesses surveyed, 82% had experienced periods of downtime over the previous three years that amounted to at least £2 million in total loses. This averaged out at a cost of £260,000 per hour of outage for the typical manufacturer. The same study concluded that the cost of repairing or replacing damaged or faulty equipment made up only a small fraction of the costs associated with an outage: total losses were estimated at anywhere between four times and 15 times the maintenance bill.

Minimising the risk of disruption can be challenging, particularly given the patchwork approach some manufacturing sites have towards upgrading their energy infrastructure. While disruption to grid supply is one cause of outages, more frequently outages are due to wear and tear on equipment.

One method of significantly reducing failure rate for electrical equipment, particularly for sites that receive an overvoltage from the grid, is through the installation of voltage optimisation. By lowering and conditioning incoming voltage, voltage optimisation ensures that equipment is provided with optimal voltage levels. This can significantly improve energy efficiency, as well as reducing maintenance and replacement costs as wear and tear on equipment is substantially reduced.

While VO offers substantial savings and carbon reductions, many complex manufacturing sites are also looking to improve their efficiency, integrate new electrified processes or introduce new low carbon technologies. Ensuring this can be achieved without compromising a site’s productivity can be challenging, particularly for older sites that have aging, often overlapping energy systems. This is why it is vital that any major energy infrastructure project starts with a comprehensive feasibility study, ensuring that a chosen technology provider has a full understanding of how a site currently operates, and how a proposed solution could impact on existing equipment. Furthermore, a feasibility study is also an important step towards a better understanding of their energy use for the customer, including providing an opportunity to spot new areas for improvement.

However, your site currently uses energy, Powerstar’s expertise and track record for supporting manufacturers ensures that our solutions protect your vital productivity, while also delivering cost and carbon savings. Whatever your future energy management ambitions may be you can achieve them reliably and efficiently with Powerstar.

Speak to our team to arrange a feasibility study here