Manufacturing equipment performance is the lifeblood of plant productivity. If the equipment is suspect, numerous issues can arise, even when factory employees are utterly reliable. That's why manufacturers should seek to invest in only equipment that has been certified to national and international regulatory standards. It's also on the manufacturer to conduct regular inspections, implement a predictive maintenance plan and stay abreast of industry best practices.
If you're in manufacturing, you know how devastating downtime can be to the bottom line. For example, a 2013 survey from IndustryWeek and Stratus Technologies revealed unplanned downtime events averaged about $17,000 per incident - and manufacturers experienced seven such events, on average. Of the companies surveyed, 30 percent said they underwent major unplanned downtime for at least one application in the first four months of 2013. With certified equipment, unplanned downtime is less of a danger. The best third-party certification companies will also conduct periodic testing and services to ensure that equipment remains in good condition.
No matter how detrimental downtime may be, it pales in comparison to the aftermath of a worker injury or death due to machinery malfunction. Worker safety is paramount in all industries because human lives may be in the balance. But there are also business reasons to invest in certified equipment - failure to adhere to the best in manufacturing standards could be a red flag with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. OSHA fines and penalties can be a critical blow to a business recovering from an equipment failure and employee injury.
One way to improve manufacturing output is simply to avoid downtime, but the other way is to improve process efficiency. Needless to say, better equipment that can perform faster and more efficiently has the added benefit of increasing productivity. Faster, more accurate operations allow your plant to move its products to market more reliably. All of this helps the bottom line and creates a competitive advantage.
Efficient resource allocation
One eternal cost for manufacturers comes in the form of energy consumption. As long as the factory is running, it's using up resources like water, electricity, compressed air and other utilities. Less-than-optimal equipment will only require greater investment in those resources, costing more money and potentially leading to regulatory infractions with the Environmental Protection Agency and other governing bodies. By relying on high-caliber, certified machinery, your plant can make the best use of those necessary overheads. Consider seeking appliances with the ENERGY STAR mark.
When a manufacturer uses only certified equipment to comply with environmental, safety and performance standards, it can leverage that as a compelling marketing tool. Consumers are ever more aware of business practices and they often seek to avoid purchasing goods from manufacturers that exploit their workers or fail to leverage efficient technology. Certification marks on plant machinery tell your consumers and partners that you're committed to maintaining a state-of-the-art facility and providing the best conditions for you employees.
By working with a third-party certification provider, manufacturers can gain market access, develop effective maintenance plans, receive assistance in installation and continual service, and rest assured operators aren't subject to hazards.