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Increasing profitability by improving operational reliability and efficiency

03 October 2018

Today there is an increasing awareness that automation system performance has a major impact on industrial profitability.

Automation systems control physical assets that transform energy and raw materials into finished products. The finished product can be sold at profit, which in simple terms is the difference between that product’s selling price and the cost of the energy and raw materials used to make it. It is also important to keep in mind production assets are significant capital investments. All companies are required to maximise Return On Capital Employed (ROCE). 

For production assets, this means making as many products as possible while keeping the plant running reliably and safely. To maximise asset productivity while optimising energy and raw material costs requires access to data from multiple points in the plant’s various systems. This data can then be analysed to make adjustments to processes in real time. 

When a new plant or new production equipment is required, capital must be appropriated and funds spent to buy the components and services needed to design, build, install and commission it. This new capital does not begin to generate returns until the new plant or equipment is up and running. Hence speeding up the process, or reducing time to market can help improve ROCE and overall profitability.