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Manufacturing

63% of manufacturers are vulnerable to energy shortage

How your energy strategy can protect against outages whilst meeting quality targets and just in time schedules

Operating in a highly competitive global market, UK industrial manufacturers need to ensure right first time production and meet stringent just-in-time (JIT) delivery schedules. The costs of production downtime can be critical, both financially and for business reputation. So, it’s worrying that 63% of UK manufacturers said that they are vulnerable to energy shortage because they do not have adequate plans in place1. Too many are reliant on an ageing energy infrastructure and an unreliable grid supply.

With 59% of manufacturers having said that their success was defined by their ability to meet on-time deliveries consistently2, we believe that having a stable energy supply is crucial.

So, what does an energy strategy look like that ensures a reliable and stable supply, safeguards production resilience and prevents the costs of lost output?

An energy strategy you need

Given that one in 10 manufacturers, having experienced disruption in energy supply, incurred costs of between £50,000 and £1 million1, the sooner you act, the sooner you can strengthen your resilience.

Innovative energy technologies including on-site generation –such as combined heat and power (CHP) – and battery storage solutions, act by reducing reliance on the national grid, increasing self-sufficiency and protecting delivery schedules. A Centrica Business Solutions survey found that 25% of manufacturers have already implemented battery storage units at some of their sites3.

Sensor-based insight solutions can be crucial. By highlighting anomalies in energy usage or temperature, they can provide early warning of potential equipment failures. Remedial action can then be taken before downtime occurs, avoiding any impact on production precision and preventing additional costs.

Another important element that needs to be incorporated into your energy strategy is a regular operations and maintenance programme. This is essential for ensuring that your energy estates are operating efficiently. Given the high energy requirements of industrial processes and the 24/7 nature of production, this is particularly important for ensuring maximum production uptime, safeguarding production quality and reducing unnecessary costs. Process controls maintenance, for example, can typically save a company 5-15% of its process energy4.

But, with operational staff often over-stretched, this is an area that can be easily neglected until a problem occurs. Outsourcing aspects of energy management to a third-party, such as Centrica Business Solutions, can help address this risk.

Download our Perspective Series article to find out more about why it is critical to have the right energy strategy for industrial manufacturing. We highlight the priorities you need to address to protect against outages while meeting quality targets and JIT schedules. With 25% of manufacturers believing that they will experience more energy-related failures over the next five years3, the time to act is now.

SOURCES:
1Powering on, Energy resilience in UK manufacturing, Barclays, 2016
2What drives growth in manufacturing? IQMS Manufacturing ERP
3Energy Advantage Research, Centrica Business Solutions. Statistics based on a six country survey of more than 1,000 energy decision-makers in large organisations
4High temperature industry, The Carbon Trust, 2012

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