Case Study – Business process change in an SME Engineering Shop

Sector: Industrial Sector

Project: Business process change in an SME Engineering Shop

Background

 

Many smaller well established engineering companies have a particular practice of leaving equipment on over weekends – especially CNC machines.

On querying the reasoning behind this practice a number of answers are provided:
- The engineer installing it told us so,
- The machine’s control panels may not restart,
- It loses the tooling configuration, and
- I thought it was off as we turn it off at the control panel.

Having measured many variants of CNC machine, the non-production cost of energy is anywhere between 18% and 29% of which the majority of this is weekend energy.

 

Solutions

 

Getting an entire industry to understand that in the right conditions with the right assets, there should be zero non-production hour’s energy consumption for CNC machines.

At present the only way to get these companies to accept this as a standard operating procedure is to trial it. This involves the measuring of energy to develop a base line and then to turn off the machine over the weekend to see the impact on energy consumption.

 

Outcomes

 

For those manufacturing companies that apply this principle, they have on average a £50 reduction per week in energy cost per machine. This equates to £600 per annum per machine. For a typical SME within the automotive supply chain this equates to between £5,000 and £6,000 per annum. By providing the actual evidence of the cost of leaving a machine running, a sizable saving can be achieved with no effort.

Best in class engineering shops have always done it and it should be replicated across the industry. Any real concerns should be answered through trial projects where selected machines are turned off to ascertain whether they will come back on. If there is a problem, they can usually be quickly sorted. At an average £6,000 saving per company, if 250 companies within an engineering supply chain adopted a turn off at weekend policy it could reduce the overall energy consumption by £1.5 million per annum.