Pro-active 360° service
Industry 4.0 will determine the production of the future. It stands for greater flexibility and the automation of digitally networked processes in the Internet of Things. This means that the guarantee of permanent process reliability is more important than ever. To ensure the uninterrupted operation of data systems, assembly lines, control units and other elements in the product system, there is a need for a dependable power supply. Even a failure of a few milliseconds can have serious consequences for a company – for productivity, and its reputation and profitability.
This is why, particularly for process-critical applications, maximum availability and economical operation are important selection criteria in the choice of a power supply system. Power outages can have fatal consequences in sectors such as industry, energy supply, infrastructure, telecommunications and IT and data technology.
Power supply as the greatest risk for process continuity
In a study carried out by Forrester Research and Disaster Recovery Journal in 2010, 44% of the IT managers and directors questioned stated that the greatest damage resulted from interruption to operations through power failures. Therefore, availability and quality of the power supply represents the greatest risk for continuity in operating and business processes.
Recent history has all too often demonstrated the unpredictability and serious consequences of a sudden power failure – for instance, March 2015, when a power station in Turkey’s Aegean region suddenly ceased energy production and instantaneously triggered a domino effect. The grid connection with Europe had to be cut off leaving 76 million citizens entirely without power for nine hours – and out-of-service traffic lights caused expansive traffic chaos.
Only a few days previously, a technical fault in a high-voltage station in Amsterdam had, among other things, prevented thousands of passengers in railway stations and airports from travelling, and a large number of hospitals had to fall back on their emergency power supplies.
Fortunately, blackouts like this have not occurred too often in countries like Germany. However, though their electricity grid is considered to be relatively secure and reliable, failures in power grids are practically unavoidable. The smallest disturbances in the network can set off a domino reaction. Even if only minor components break down, the total process chain can rapidly come to a halt, together with all the related systems and business or operating processes – a risk that underlines the need for urgent action.
Safeguarding operating processes
The downtime caused by grid problems and power failures doesn’t only result in time and money losses for affected businesses; it can also damage reputations and lead to disgruntled clients. In order to provide effective prevention against such scenarios, and to minimise operating malfunctions from the outset, it’s necessary to have an holistic pro-active service and maintenance concept, which should involve both, hardware and software support. BENNING’s existing Support and Service Department is undergoing massive expansion, so that this concept can be offered to its clients immediately.
In this context, for example, ‘preventive’ or ‘pro-active’ mean, that power supply systems should be continuously monitored and managed via remote access. If there are signs of an impending system fault, or even of a possible breakdown, it may be sufficient to carry out modifications to the system via remote access or to load updates in the firmware. If it isn’t possible to correct a problem indicated then, in an ideal situation, an experienced service technician would be planned in pro-actively, without it being necessary even to make a phone call. The technician would ensure that maximum system availability is re-established directly onsite within the defined reaction periods and arrival times.
Holistic approach with process-critical significance
Concepts such as ‘the Internet of Things’, ‘Industry 4.0’ or innovative mobile communications technologies such as the 5G network, embody the opportunities of tomorrow.There is often a wide gap between aspiration and reality. Many companies try to achieve maximum availability with minimum support costs. In-house personnel are trained to carry out simple service jobs. Often, such measures and the available standard of technical competence are insufficient to ensure overall operational reliability. Similarly, it’s often overlooked that even the use of a company’s own employees can involve considerable expense in terms of time, personnel and costs.
High availability strategies adapted to individual requirements
A high-availability strategy to minimise or avoid breakdowns should always begin with a thorough risk analysis. After a categorisation of the risks (based on problems that have already arisen, possible loss of turnover and expected damage to the company reputation), a prioritisation of possible measures for avoiding such risks should follow.
This prioritisation can then be provided with a cost-benefit analysis for the purpose of quantitative risk evaluation, so that the measures for risk avoidance can be established. Therefore, service strategies that are likely to be successful unify planning, prevention and maintenance, in order to ensure continuous operation.
Preventive maintenance and targeted performance improvements
Many service agreements are based on defined performance figures in order to reduce system breakdowns or to shorten downtimes. In future, preventive maintenance (e.g. through continuous monitoring of the plant parameters) should come into effect when there’s an indication of possible failure. Opportunities for performance improvement and resulting increases in profitability should also be recognisable. Additionally, relevant service-level agreements (SLAs) should be flexible and based on individual requirements for operations and risks. All these considerations highlight why it is necessary to change the service approaches that are still typical at the present time.
Holistic pro-active 360° service
This essential conversion can only be achieved through an integrated holistic service concept applying to the whole of the process-critical infrastructure, which is entrusted to a central contact partner. This system must replace the situation that typically applies at present, where different service partners are selected for each operating unit.
BENNING is in a position to offer its clients a pro-active 360° service consisting of three core concepts:
- Failure risks and downtimes are minimised by carrying out maintenance checks at regular intervals. Proactive checks can be carried out as necessary via remote access; preventive measures and service activities can be called upon and fast reaction times are ensured when service requirements occur.
- A holistic service approach reduces operating costs by placing emphasis on performance and lifecycle management, as well as retrofit measures.
- BENNING’s 360° Service provision covers a wide range of availability strategies, with the option to upgrade the service level and individually adapt the maintenance and service concepts to suit the business and operating process – (configuring for a particular objective or risk situation) of an individual client.
BENNING’s pro-active 360° service provisions include a reliable maintenance and replacement parts management system and contribute to the maximum future availability of BENNING power supplies. Clients profit from the expert knowledge that the company has built through decades of experience in varied market segments, such as industry, telecommunications, medical technology and computer centres. At the same time, they obtain access to the resources of one of the world’s leading manufacturers of power supplies.
Powerfully equipped for the opportunities of the future
BENNING offers a wide portfolio of individual business sector solutions – from the planning and development of individual power supply concepts, via their installation and maintenance, through to advisory services in matters of security against breakdown. With the new 360° service developed on a world basis, BENNING’s clients can achieve maximum availability for their operating processes, not only for the challenges of today, but to provide them with sustainable guarantees for the opportunities of tomorrow.
contact: Dirk Petrich
telephone: +49 2871 / 93 401