Leverage Automated Monitoring

Look around your plant, and you’ll see automation at every turn. Since the Industrial Revolution, plant managers have been looking for ways to harness automation. Of course, back then it was driven by steam power, which was a big step up from using horses or oxen. Once we figured out how to use this new power source, there was no going back. So why is there resistance to harnessing digital power for all it’s worth? Why do some folks insist on using a horse when they have access to a rocket ship?

Old technology isn’t necessarily obsolete. For example, riding a horse can be very enjoyable. You get some exercise, get to enjoy the outdoors, get to establish a relationship with another species. But let’s face it – the horse isn’t going to get you to the moon! When you want to move your enterprise forward, you cannot rely on outdated technology, and when it comes to transportation for the sake of getting from point A to point B, the horse is outdated. Doing things yourself instead of capitalizing on digital power to do what it does best is also an outdated approach.

Monitoring is a perfect example. There are plenty of companies that still monitor their own equipment. It seems like it’s an easy thing to do, so the thinking invariably is, “Why should I outsource this simple task to someone else? Why should I pay someone else to do this for me?” There are plenty of good answers.

Before technology came along there was one way to monitor equipment, personnel and processes – by standing there and watching. Before technology came along horses provided viable transportation. Riding beat walking. (Those companies that choose not to monitor anything, other than with the outdated supervisor-making-occasional-rounds model are paying a very hefty price. Although they don’t have a line item in their budgets for monitoring, they are paying with inefficiency and are destined to be left behind by their competitors.)

Technology advanced, and closed-circuit cameras provided remote monitoring, typically from another part of the building. Remote monitoring beat standing at the equipment all day. However, you now had to pay someone to watch the monitor. To make the process more cost-effective, you installed more cameras and hired a single person to watch them all. It’s a step in the right direction, but would you like to escalate that improvement by really driving down monitoring costs?

Since the Internet came along, we now have the capacity to monitor anything from anywhere. It’s a technology advancement that makes in-house monitoring outdated. Think of all the things in our lives that are monitored for us – things like security systems, fire alarms, credit scores, identity theft, and bill payments just to name a few. These are all things we could monitor ourselves, but it’s better that we don’t. Why?

Two reasons: First, we’re not the experts. What if we miss something or make a mistake? The results could be damaging if not downright catastrophic. Secondly, and every bit as important, we have better things to do with our time. Technological advancements have made outsourced monitoring very cost-effective. You can afford to hire a security company to watch your house because technology lets them efficiently watch hundreds of other houses at the same time.

The same thing is true on your shop floor. You can leverage automated monitoring to boost your bottom line. Why would you refuse to monitor if it could and would improve your efficiency and your profitability? Why would you take on the overhead of hiring staff to monitor your equipment if you could outsource this function for a fraction of the cost? At MPower, we are monitoring experts and will show you how your cost savings will exceed your fee month in and month out.

Contact us to learn more.