If you own a production or manufacturing business, machinery is likely to play a central role in your venture.
After all, such entities not only drive the operational side of the business, but they also provide a source of inherent value that can be leveraged to secure financing in some instances.
However, the cost of these machines is far higher than the initial purchase price. Here are some of the common cost considerations and tips on how to manage their running costs.
What Costs are Associated With Machinery?
One of the biggest cost implications for machinery is associated with idle times, which refer to periods where expensive pieces of equipment are not in use or out of service.
This applies to everyone from factory owners to vehicle fleet managers, although the precise definition of ‘idling’ will vary depending on the nature of your business and the equipment that you own.
In the case of factory machines, for example, it’s important to ensure that such equipment is in use as often as possible if you’re to optimise productivity and your overall ROI.
In the case of vehicle fleets, you’ll also need to consider the impact of engine idling on total fuel consumption and costs. By minimising idling, you can dramatically reduce operational costs and the amount required to maintain cars and vans.
Another common issue is that the standard machinery used by factories doesn’t always meet specific or niche requirements. This can cause issues in terms of efficiency and productivity over time, while increasing the initial number of machines required and your upfront cost.
Of course, bespoke automation solutions can help in this respect, as they can be tailored to suit specific project requirements and amend the functionality of your existing machines.
What Other Steps Can be Taken to Reduce Running Costs?
Aside from minimising idling times and utilising bespoke automation, there are other steps that can be taken to reduce your overall machine running costs.
Two of the best and most cutting-edge methods are preventive and predictive Maintenance (PdM), which share the same goals while utilising different methodologies.
In simple terms, PdM aims to predict and pre-empt equipment failures before they actually occur, often by utilising a combination of physical inspection, sensors and monitoring software that are designed to track performance over time.
This differs considerably from scheduled and standard maintenance strategies, which offer insights based solely on the life cycles of each individual machine.
The deployment of soft starters can also help to curb operational costs. These entities are used on a variety of motor types, typically those that require a large surge of energy when powering up.
Soft starters reduce this initial surge and simultaneously minimise energy consumption costs, while lowering the risk of overloading circuits and triggering a power outage.
They also offer the advantage of adjustable acceleration times, which optimise performance, reduce long-term wear and tear and further minimise energy usage.