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Total cost of ownership: additional costs that pay off

22 January 2021

When calculating capital goods, companies often save money in the wrong place if they focus solely on acquisition costs. A more detailed cost statement, such as a total cost of ownership calculation, helps to provide an all-encompassing overview: It not only shows possible additional costs, but also reveals hidden savings potential. 

The word "Total" in the term "Total Cost of Ownership" clearly shows the scope of the type of invoice: it is a list of all costs incurred for a capital good. This distinguishes the calculation from a lifecycle cost, which is usually limited to acquisition and maintenance costs. However, especially in manufacturing industries, weighing and inspection solutions are associated with complex costs which remain hidden without the right know-how. Minebea Intec supports its customers with products that pay off over many years, decades of experience and a comprehensive service that has the optimal solution for every application.

A cost plus that pays off several times over: The right technique
Many companies shy away from initial additional costs: this investment in machinery pays off several times over the operating life of the machine. An example feature that plays a fundamental role in the food industry is Hygienic Design. Products manufactured according to Hygienic Design have many construction details that offer few possibilities for germ formation and are also made of particularly robust materials that can withstand cleaning with more stubborn cleaning agents and methods. As a result, less time is required for cleaning and less detergent is used, which in turn saves money. 

A perfect example of this is the innovative Novego weighing module: "The design of the Novego weighing modules is designed for overhead installation for hygienic reasons. The upside down design means that corrosion-inducing cleaning agents do not come into contact with the module for longer than necessary, which significantly increases its service life". This is how product manager Holger Nichelmann describes the high-precision load cell. But the weighing and inspection solutions from Minebea Intec score not only with a well thought-out product design, but also with smart features.

For process optimisation and cost savings, many dynamic checkweighers offer trend control, for example. This checkweigher option controls an upstream filling, portioning or cutting machine so that the defined target weight is reached as accurately as possible and kept constant. This prevents unnecessary overfilling or underfilling and reduces rejects. This avoids unnecessary material consumption, increases efficiency and benefits the environment on top of that.

The right partner: experience worth the money
Weighing and inspection solutions from Minebea Intec also score points with a user-friendly interface that enables an intuitive start. Such machines pay off several times over for plant operators. On the one hand, personnel can be trained much more quickly, and in addition, easier operation results in fewer operating errors. Features such as the automatic learning function on Essentus checkweighers allow even inexperienced users to quickly access important settings, which can increase the productivity of a production line. Weighing electronics such as the Maxxis 5 weighing controller offer freely programmable function keys for added ease of use. In addition, Minebea Intec provides customers with training and decades of experience in the production of weighing and inspection solutions and supports customers in project planning, implementation and comprehensive service. 

Software for filling quantity- and statistical process control increase profitability
However, money can be saved not only in weighing and inspection solutions: Software for statistical process control such as SPC@Enterprise provides a complete overview of the production chain. The user receives automated reports on the production process or monitors it in real time with the monitoring module, can then use this to check important key figures and identify possible errors, but also potential for optimization, at an early stage.The pleasing result for manufacturers: less production waste, fewer risks, shorter downtimes and significant savings in the items working time and operating costs. "Statistical process control is a key component of quality management and reveals hidden potential for major savings". Product Manager Lars-Henrik Bierwirth also confirms this. "For the user, SPC@Enterprise is a universal and powerful tool that uniquely combines the acquisition of manual random samples as well as automatic in-process controls. SPC@Enterprise can also communicate the recorded data with higher levels, such as ERP and MES systems, With it, users approach a decisive step towards a complete recording and monitoring of all key figures relevant in the production process. "So Bierwirth to the current version 4.0 of the tool.

Service: Avoid downtime with miRemote
Another component that is missing from normal cost statements concerns possible production downtime. Although cost statements usually include the cost of spare or wear parts, the downtime of a plant is a much more significant cost item. Using a smart service tool such as miRemote, Minebea Intec ensures that customers have a live connection to the service technician who can analyse the problem directly via the camera on the smartphone or tablet. By instructing the service employee, minor problems can be solved directly without the need to send a service technician. Alternatively, the technician is better informed about the case due to the preliminary assessment and can therefore take the necessary material for solving the problem directly with him and help to reduce downtime to a minimum. "With miRemote, service staff can get a detailed picture and initiate necessary measures in a time- and cost-saving manner". Clarifies Global Service Manager Michael Tappe. "Users can rely on products and services from Minebea Intec under all conditions - because with miRemote proximity is not a question of distance.

For customers who need help with costing, Minebea Intec offers support either by direct contact or via the website: Here interested parties can, for example, view a calculator for calculating the ReturnOnInvest and thus carry out initial calculations themselves.

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