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White paper asks what is the true cost of automation downtime?

09 September 2015

Unexpected production stoppages are increasingly unacceptable in modern manufacturing environments, especially the food industry where lost output, penalty clauses and upset customers are just some of the issues arising.

Fortunately much of today’s automation equipment is very reliable and will run for many years, which can mean that the provision for correct care and maintenance can be easily overlooked. Unless there is a proper plan in place, on the rare occasion when something does go wrong the results can have a serious effect on productivity. 

A new white paper downloadable free of charge from www.cost-of-downtime.com provides an overview of service support options that can be used to avoid or mitigate the effects of an unplanned stoppage. This includes cataloguing and managing automation equipment of any age and from any vendor and ensuring provision is made to monitor, service and if necessary provide a replacement route for both current and legacy hardware and software. 

Service and support provision can often be provided, under contract, by automation equipment manufacturers such as Mitsubishi Electric. The white paper reviews both the implications of not looking after automation equipment and conversely the benefits of a bespoke support service that can be adapted for the requirements of each individual department or plant. 

The cumulative cost of downtime is often underappreciated but can run to literally thousands of pounds an hour. Considerations such as up-to-date backup copies of operational software can make the difference between a quick change over of hardware such as a PLC, to many hours of reprogramming if the code is corrupted or lost. 

Many elements beyond the obvious parts, labour and lost production however contribute to the overall losses, including: 
  • Knock-on effect on other systems 
  • Penalty clauses 
  • Increased liability insurance 
  • Insurance claims 
  • Cost of investigation and review 
  • Health & Safety investigations 
  • Additional shift work to catch up 
  • Reputational damage 

The white paper, entitled: The True Cost of Automation Downtime, explores all of these issues and suggests remedies that will help minimise costs and disruption caused by unexpected stoppages. Download a copy today and make sure you fully understand the options in order to avoid or minimise disruption from a sudden glitch in your automation components and systems. 


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