22 per cent of construction companies in Europe estimate costs of unplanned equipment downtime exceed £200,000
Construction companies are missing out on millions of dollars of potential cost savings as a result of ineffective equipment lubrication, according to a study by Shell Lubricants and the figure could be in excess of £306 billion.
At a time when minimising operating costs and improving operational efficiency are priorities for many construction businesses, lubrication errors are having a financial impact. Companies admit that just over half (54 per cent) of incidences of unplanned downtime in the last three years were likely due to their incorrect selection or management of lubricants. Around a quarter (22 per cent) estimate that these shutdowns have cost their business £200,000 or more.
Thomas Mueller, Shell Global Sector Manager for Construction, said: “This study indicates that companies are missing an opportunity due to a lack of understanding about how effective lubrication can help lower costs and improve equipment reliability. Over the last five years Shell Lubricants has helped construction companies worldwide save over £9 million. Our technical experts regularly work with customers to identify opportunities to help reduce maintenance spend and ensure reliable equipment operation, by properly looking after the lubrication needs of their machinery.”
The international study of construction companies across Europe commissioned by Shell Lubricants reveals many businesses do not realise that some of their critical operational factors can be significantly influenced by effective lubrication processes. More than six in ten companies admit they are not clear about how lubrication management can influence unplanned down time (61 per cent) and only 36 per cent understand how lubricants can help deliver cost savings through improved wear protection.
Fewer than 1 in 4 companies (23 per cent) have all the correct procedures in place to manage lubricants effectively, and 38 per cent cite on-site storage and handling of lubricants as their main challenge. In addition, 71 per cent of companies think they don’t conduct staff training on lubricants as regularly as they should. But with only 22 per cent of businesses benefiting from regular visits from their lubricant supplier’s technical staff, most are not well equipped to take action.
Mueller commented: “Even the best lubricant cannot perform effectively if it is not correctly managed. One of the common issues we encounter when visiting customer sites is contamination of the lubricant before it enters the equipment. This severely impairs its ability to protect vital equipment components and costly breakdowns can ensue. We have seen customers who make seemingly small improvements to lubricant storage and handling realise savings of thousands of dollars from a reduction in unplanned downtime and associated maintenance costs.”
Shell Lubricants has released a whitepaper to address some of these issues and show the tangible business benefits that can be achieved through correct selection and management of lubricants.
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