Winterdienst Neuss

Earlier in my own career I was a commercial maintenance manager. I had the privilege of leading a world-class maintenance organization at one facility and starting a system up from scratch at another (and several which were in between). I was in the Navy Nuclear Power Program so I have a decent idea of what good maintenance is Winterdienst Neuss.

Energy Efficiency needs to be always a key area of the maintenance repertoire but unfortunately seldom is that ever the case. Maintenance technicians could easily understand the technical and business ramifications of energy efficiency but they’re usually not area of the conversation. That needs to improve, because no group can impact energy efficiency (both good and bad) around the maintenance department can.

What are the results when maintenance isn’t area of the discussion? Here are a few examples:
• A brand new Energy Management System is installed. After a few months no noticeable reduction in energy consumption has occurred. Investigation shows the majority of the system has been jumpered out by the maintenance department. The explanation for this really is that maintenance received zero training on the system and it’s benefits. Maintenance still had to make customers happy and was uncomfortable with the automation, so they returned to the manual system they knew. This can happen for years if nobody is monitoring the systems.
• Low efficiency motors are repaired in place of replaced when failures occur.
• V groove in place of notched belts are employed simply because “these were in stock”
• Equipment that fails is replaced with the same equipment, with no considered to newer technology
• Specification was written 2 decades ago, but it still should be good, right?
• This is my own favorite. Equipment is left running 24/7 while there is fear that if it is switched off it won’t reverse on. Unfortunately this mindset comes into play often on the greatest of loads such as chillers, pumps, boilers etc…

In large manufacturing facilities, the matter could be much worse. I recall the usage of compressed air “blow-offs’ to help keep insects from getting on the product. It had been a seasonal issue that beetles would inevitably get on the merchandise sheet (galvanized steel), get crushed as the sheet undergoes the method line, and cause quality issues. This “blow-off” was basically a pipe with holes drilled in it. Since a ¼” hole at 100 psi costs about $10,000 a year in energy, one can just imagine the price of running this product 24/7 for months on end. Because energy usage and cost was assigned to a separate department and the conclusion user was never area of the loop, these situations are inevitable.

Just what exactly can be achieved? Here are a few ideas that would definitely be considered a good start.

  1. Train, train, train!
    Yes, I understand that you think whenever you hire these guys they need to already know everything, but things change. Tribal knowledge (word of mouth or the old “stay with so and so for awhile until do you know what you’re doing”) just isn’t a regular method and sometimes poisons the entire department since the “go-to-guy” may possibly not be the most effective trainer (or may have some bad habits).

Sharing real world samples of how maintenance affects energy usage can go a considerable ways in getting buy in from the maintenance department. There’s often a power cost related to decisions that the maintenance department makes. You will find situations, at instances when management and support staffs aren’t available, that the on-site maintenance personnel have purchasing authority. By being informed regarding energy efficiency, they are able to make the proper business decision and defend it. A good example would have been a simple AC motor. Maintenance technicians need to know about the much higher long-term costs related to purchasing the least expensive possible motor. Knowing that the initial cost of a motor is 5% of its’ total operating cost, definitely helps in making the proper decision. Understanding the annual costs related to operating motors should show how important it’s to shut them off when they’re not needed.

Vendors often will train for free. I came across that drive belts offer a fantastic training opportunity. The seller will show technicians the appropriate way to set up and tension a gear, and the advantages/disadvantages of the different types of belts. It is unbelievable that you will still see seasoned maintenance technicians use a screwdriver or crow bar and “stretch” a gear over a sheave. This is a big no-no and is bad for the belt. This was probably learned by “tribal knowledge”!

  1. Communicate.
    Close the loop on letting maintenance know what the usage is. This will at least be on a graph and show the temperature relationship (to prevent the old “it must have been hotter/colder excuse). This works especially well if a graph can show a causal relationship such as “notice simply how much lower the electricity bill is since we started turning off the air compressors on the weekends” ;.This shows not only a noticable difference, but re-enforces that this needs to occur, and when it doesn’t, there is evidence for many to see. For manufacturing, breaking this down seriously to an “energy use/intensity per part” is a powerful tool. Most of us realize that more production generally means more energy consumption, but breaking it down seriously to energy usage/part is a useful method that enables for comparisons between high and low production periods.

If a power team is being developed, maintenance needs to be represented. Otherwise, when the power team generates their first “energy efficiency punch list” and gives the majority of the list what to maintenance for completion, the reception will soon be lukewarm at best. If maintenance had a component in making the list, coupled with a definite knowledge of how and why it had been originated and what will be accomplished because of it, the chances of having the items on the list completed (not to say in an even more timely manner) increase exponentially.

  1. Involve maintenance on new equipment purchases and equipment/construction decisions
    Appears like common sense, right? It is shocking how many times equipment appears that was designed elsewhere and simply does not work the way it had been intended. Maintenance (and operations) gets stuck with it and gets told to “ensure it is work”! Having maintenance up to speed early in the design process helps with much more things than energy efficiency (ensuring the one thing could be accessed for work is definitely important!). When the maintenance staff features a thorough knowledge of energy efficiency and it’s benefits, they are able to help push for more efficient equipment replacements as existing equipment reaches end of life. Maintenance technicians can be extremely tenacious and are good allies when fighting for a cause.
  2. Lose the reactive maintenance mindset.
    Easier said than done, I know. When I was a technician, I worked in places that truly called the task “standby” and you were there for breakdowns only. What a waste of talent and money! When I create a maintenance program, the very first thing I create may be the surveillance routes. Maintenance surveillance routes are simply having maintenance technicians walk the facility observing the status of equipment and documenting it in a signed checklist. In maintenance utopia, the entire facility should really be looked over by maintenance at least one time each day (“looked at” does not mean every cover removed etc… but at the least a walk by; senses can make up a lot). If issues are found, they’re either fixed immediately or a work order is written to obtain the matter resolved. I’m an advocate of the “problem tag” system that hangs a tag near the matter so everyone knows that it will soon be addressed. The tag number should go on the job order and so the loop is closed. If your maintenance department has nothing like this set up, expect considerable resistance in the beginning when trying to implement it! Once the system is set up and working, however, it’s shocking how fast breakdowns are reduced. Equipment problems almost always consume more energy. Here are just a couple of examples that simple surveillance routes would eliminate:Winterdienst Neuss
    • Broken or slipping belts
    • Clogged or missing filters
    • Stuck or broken dampers or linkages
    • Jammed conveyors and/or overloaded motors
    • Compressed air leaks
    • Hydraulic and fluid system leaks

Let’s not forget that surveillance routes occurring during non-operating times can be mini energy audits. Turning off things when not in use could be among the biggest ways to reduce the power usage. Here are a few samples of things that would be available on a walkthrough:
• Lights left on
• Equipment left on
o Air compressors are typical culprits
• Environmental controls not backed to non occupied settings
• Plug loads

Obviously the easy methods that I mention here aren’t meant to replace a comprehensive predictive/preventative maintenance program, but, i think, maintenance surveillance routes should really be a basis for just about any maintenance program.

  1. Share the love!
    If your performance pay system exists by all means make energy consumption among the key parameters. If it’s for management only, be sure that it’s area of the maintenance managers’ performance review. He or she can effect energy used in so many different ways, there needs to be some tie to compensation therefore it stays on the hot list.

Yes, I know the maintenance staff could be condescending, overbearing, obnoxious and just plain scary. I have had to handle or use those types previously or another (and maybe even be those types previously or another). The simple truth is, however, that the maintenance staff can by your biggest ally when it comes to cutting energy cost. No body else has use of equipment operation like they do and can have significantly more effect. They can create a huge difference. Make sure they are a big area of the organizations’ energy reduction efforts, and reap the rewards. Leave maintenance out, and results will suffer Winterdienst Neuss.

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