Introduction to Reducing Cost in Industry
In this section, we’ll explore some ideas for Reducing Cost in Industry. High costs are frustrating. Especially when inflation is at such a high rate. Extra costs reduce profit. They also slow down the ability for you to upgrade and grow your production.
This is document simply a compilation of some of my thoughts and opinions. Do your math too see if these ideas make sense for your industry.
First of all, we know that downtime is expensive. When equipment is down, and technicians are not familiar with equipment, they can spend countless hours on repairs. At some point, we’ve all been there. Not knowing what to do, we start jiggling wires, and randomly replacing relays. This turns to frustration. Especially when we feel we are not getting anywhere. Additionally, they might order extra parts that do not contribute to a solution. When your personnel are well trained, they know how to utilize all of their resources.
Well trained personnel will have a systematic approach to troubleshooting. This will help them to trace down any consistent problem in a reasonable amount of time. For intermittent problems, they will know how to use their available tools. This helps them find the root cause of a problem once it happens again. These tools include trapping single bits as well as taking entire snapshots of a system’s memory for evaluation.
Good training has another benefit. It gives the students knowledge to create a temporary work-around. This is important when you don’t have the right part in stock. Just be sure they do this in a safe and reliable manner.
A good training resource is Automation Training, Inc. Visit the website at http://atifortraining.com.
Implement Energy Saving Features in existing systems
There are a few things we can do to minimize cost by using energy saving features. For example, consider a hydraulic valve has not moved in 15 minutes. We can program the pump to shut down. Whenever equipment starts to wear, it might cause a motor to pull more amperage. We might monitor the amperage in our program. Then we set an alarm for the operator when it exceeds a setpoint.
Another feature we can build into machine projects is a way to check for leaks. Leaks might reduce pressure in a certain part of your system. We can easily detect this, and sound a warning. Implementing many of these features require little or no additional expense. It’s important to realize some components of your system could drift without pressure. It’s important to determine any safety issues while implementing these features.
Some personnel might not think preventative maintenance is important. Because of this, it usually gets pushed down on their list of things to get done. After all, there is no problem of immediate concern. In truth, though, if the system is already down, that is a great time to thoroughly check out your equipment. They can freely lock out the equipment at this time. They can get into areas not accessible while the system is running. This allows them to detect many problems before they cause lost time in production.
Remember, once the equipment is running, we want as little downtime as possible. This is because there is often a large cost associated with another startup. At the same time, you are paying more people to be operating the equipment. Even if it does break down, you are still paying for labor. This is labor that does not contribute to production. Downtime also limits your ability to meet certain production goals.
Equipment Automation can quickly perform repetitive tasks. This allows your employees to concentrate on other tasks such as quality optimization. This will also ensure consistency of your product. Aside from regular breakdowns, you can also somewhat guarantee a specific production rate. Automation equipment is also easy to troubleshoot. A PLC simply monitors all of the inputs. It will then run a program to determine which outputs to energize. The wiring is very straight-forward. In contrast, a manual system might have much more wiring. This slows the ability for maintenance to find problems.
Relocation is expensive. it’s also very hard on every employee. It’s important to realize that it can also save a lot of money in the long term. Your employees will also be happier in a more tax friendly state if it makes sense to move. Some states have a very toxic environment for businesses Others appreciate the work, and production that you provide to that state. Sometimes, you might not even have to move very far. Simply moving outside of city limits could provide a huge financial relief to your industry. If you are in a city near the border of another state, such as Chicago, you would have twice the benefit. For example, you could relocate just a few miles away, and have the benefit of being outside of the city. At the same time, you would be in a different state where your business can thrive.
Use Reputable Suppliers
It’s always tempting to find the cheapest price. However buying everything at the cheapest price doesn’t always save money. There are a lot of counterfeit electronics parts on the market. A good example of this is a transistor I purchased. It had the same catalog number as the old part. However, it only lasted a few seconds. After cracking the old and new transistor open, I found out they were much different. The insides of the new part were significantly smaller, and simply could not handle the current it was rated for. Don’t fall victim to this scam. Order from reputable suppliers.
Safety is very important to take care of your employees. It also reduces cost. Use common sense though. Full riot gear is not always necessary to work on a 5v circuit. You can run into other problems such as heat exhaustion. Your employees want to be safe and comfortable. Use safety guidelines that are proven to work while keeping your employees as comfortable as possible.
To summarize, we first want to maximize production in a safe environment. We do this through training and through PM’s. Additionally we can look for systems that run continuously. We can find a way to shut them down when not being used. Sensors will allow us to detect potential problems with equipment. This includes leaks, worn valves, and bearings.
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— Ricky Bryce