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Equipment downtime? You don’t need ESP to predict it.

At its heart, managing a factory is about taking in a variety of components and seeing them through their transformation into something else of greater value. Sounds straight-forward, right? Unfortunately, as you know, it’s anything but.

Underpinning this transformation is a complex equation of raw materials, intricate processes, people of different skillsets and training levels, and all manner of equipment. The equation must factor in quality, safety, energy consumption, uptime, labor efficiencies, and productivity. Ultimately, all that complexity, must be resolved into one unit – one final score for all of the effort – and that is profitability of the factory.

This is the equation facility managers must solve.

Facility manager’s days are often long, the data needed to make precise decisions is often incomplete, and when machinery goes down your entire schedule gets off balance, and your precarious grip on control is lost. Energy targets are missed, and the expectations of the higher-ups are dashed.

Setting targets is easy. Hitting them is where a facility, and a facility manager, proves their worth.

So, let’s look at the day of our friendly, neighborhood facility manager. We’ll call him Albert, because to solve the complex equation in front of him, he needs to be part Albert Einstein.

Albert’s day doesn’t start out well. Though he doesn’t even know it yet. You see, Albert works at an older facility with little to no data collection coming from his equipment. His ability to predict problems is limited to his ability to look and listen to some of his most vital equipment. Do the motor bearings sound right? Is there a different vibration in the hydraulic press? How much sand is in the silo? Are the RTUs and fans working properly? He’s got a lot of experience, but experience alone is an inadequate means of predicting downtime. He and his team can’t spend his whole day checking equipment, piece by piece across the facility, and even if he could, without reliable data, he would still miss most of the looming problems.

When Albert arrived at the facility he was bombarded with questions. First, his maintenance technician frantically came to him letting him know that Baghouse #2 was down and one of the motors went out. It was fine yesterday. In fact, it was fine the previous shift. But now, everything is far from fine.

Then his phone rings, it the home office in Chicago, the VP of North American Operations has been reviewing reports and wants some clear, concise reasons for his dip in productivity last week. The explanation is anything but clear, much less concise.

Getting the baghouse back online is taking longer than expected. Lunch will have to wait for tomorrow. And it looks like dinner will probably come from the vending machine. Again.

Shouldn't he be able to determine when a motor is about to fail in one of the most vital pieces of safety equipment at the plant?

Maybe they should give him a crystal ball.

What if… he had Facility Performance Optimization?

Now, let’s look at a different facility manager. Ernie Sawyer Peterson – around the plant, they call him ESP for short. Just like Albert, ESP has three baghouses, that caused him all kinds of headaches. But now he knows the solution before the problem even happens.

He knows in advance, because ESP’s facility had recently been equipped with a smart, wireless network solution that lets him run his facility more effectively and efficiently. Just like Albert, he’s on the phone with a VP in Chicago, who wants to know how he’s managed to break productivity records. He’s explaining how he set up alerts that allow him to reduce downtime. It’s just the first of several productivity and energy saving programs he’s begun to implement. He installs a sensor, sets an alert, and can quickly and easily measure and manage just about anything. He's also discovered energy waste in his facility. Eliminating that waste is saving his plant thousands of dollars per month. While he’s agreeing to draft a companywide memo for his boss to send out about unplanned downtime and energy cost reductions, his phone dings letting him know that the motor bearing in Baghouse #2 is getting hotter than expected. It’s time to check on that motor. He shoots a text to maintenance, acting on this overnight will save hours of costly unplanned down-time tomorrow.

Revealing the unknown, solving problems before they happen, managing to real time measurements – this is the power of Facility Performance Optimization with SimplySnap from Synapse.

Facility managers can’t manage what they can’t measure. With SimplySnap advanced Facility Performance Optimization features they can monitor, measure, and manage the performance of vital equipment, and develop easier and more reliable plans to avoid down time, lower energy waste, and increase productivity and profitability throughout an industrial environment.

Plus, with SimplySnap, a facility can get started on this improvement journey through the LED lights overhead. Using the technology in the SimplySnap Lighting Management System, a facility’s lighting network quickly and inexpensively becomes a wireless mesh network – the backbone of a sophisticated IoT solution that sets alerts your facility managers can act on immediately.

No more wasting time trying to diagnose a hundred different issues with a piece of equipment, instead, SimplySnap gives you a functioning optimization strategy. This allows you to solve the complex equation that is your facility for equipment uptime while protecting your bottom line.

How does SimplySnap limit unplanned downtime?

Aside from simply helping you to quickly diagnose an issue in strategically important equipment, SimplySnap can identify the issue before it leads to a loss of productivity. This allows you to schedule preventative maintenance at optimal times by using SimplySnap’s energy insights combined with our equipment health monitoring.

Unplanned downtime is typically linked to equipment failure. Many manufacturing plants rely on dependable equipment they’ve used for years but offer little to no insight into their equipment health.

This can make it difficult to diagnose issues caused by abnormal wear in equipment. Is this simply age or is it another component causing an issue?

As a smart Industrial IoT solution, SimplySnap can utilize performance thresholds and third-party integrations to model and alert on problematic equipment, taking into account energy usage data and general equipment health to narrow in on the offending components instead of waiting for them to fail.

Thus, allowing you to plan your regular maintenance on your schedule.

SimplySnap will help you gain control of your facility’s performance. Going beyond limited energy management solutions to build a holistic picture of your energy usage and equipment health to better inform decisions.

With a single system to solve the equation for your facility’s energy management and optimize for performance, SimplySnap makes solving that equation a snap.

Learn more about how SimplySnap can give your facility manager’s ESP.


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