In the event of a production standstill the plant operators often react in two different ways: They give a call either to the machinery and plant manufacturer or directly to a component manufacturer. In both cases the component manufacturer has to react speedily.
Depending on the industry, company size, order volume etc., such plant downtimes can cost a lot of money. Millions of euros can be lost overnight due to delays, for example on shipyards or in power plant construction.
To whichever extent: Standstills and the resulting delays in delivery are expensive and may entail an image loss.
This holds true for the case of a French food producer whose plant standstill cost €60,000 per day.
Imminent production losses and damaged reputation of a French food producer
Companies acting in the food and beverage industry must be flexible. Whilst product A is manufactured today, product B will be required tomorrow. Culturally determined tastes and permanently changing requirements of the customers induce such flexibility.
Our food producer is fully prepared for these requirements. Later he admitted that he had got caught cold by the unforeseen plant standstill.
From one second to the next nothing worked. The reason is easy to explain: Foreign matter in the pipelines of his process shot into the valve with unbridled power. Consequently, the industrial valve wore out significantly too fast and failed in the end. A missing bypass did the rest. This brought about the plant standstill!
Quickly reacting suppliers provide process safety for plant operators and plant manufacturers
In such cases there is no defined process, but a basic scheme can be worked through:
- The plant operator or machinery and plant manufacturer get in touch with the supplier and outline the need and urgency of the service required.
- The supplier‘s logistics team calls on an extensive network of partners to find a solution.
- The supplier identifies potential courier services and solicits quotations (delivery time and price).
- These information are forwarded to the plant operator / machinery and plant manufacturer.
- Release of the order
- The order is issued to two courier drivers.
In our case all these procedures lasted less than 45 minutes!
- The courier service arrives within a very short time. The waiting time is used to pick out the required parts.
- The drivers deliver overnight in two-shift operation.
- Within 24 hours the required industrial valves were delivered to the French food producer.
Process safety saves costs and maintains product quality
After getting the plant of the French food producer up and running, we talked to his process engineers.
This plant failure cost him €60,000. He had to throw away the manufactured goods because the interrupted process did not comply with hygiene standards. In addition, he would not have been able to supply and he was afraid of missing follow-up orders, if the plant standstill had lasted longer.
Process reliability is essential to the plant operator. In the event of an emergency it does not matter to him whether the machinery and plant manufacturer or the component manufacturer can provide it. The important thing for him is that his plants are operating!
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