Plants – Supply and utilization of power, fuel and water services


In investigating this field, attention should be directed to the following particular factors which have a bearing upon costs.

1. Location of usage points.
2. Records of consumptions (This may reveal a need for metering facilities as a necessary step towards adequate control).
3. Influence of power factor and maximum demand upon electricity charges, and the possibility of controlled peak demand.
4. Sources of supply of fuel and power and possible alternative or supplementary supplies.
5. Boiler houses instrumentation as an aid to efficient utilization of fuel.
6. Avoidance of waste, e.g. by efficient lagging of steam pipes, improved lighting circuiting, power factor correction, etc.
7. Methods and equipment, e.g. consideration of power transmission methods, use of mechanical stokers and other mechanical appliances.
8. Service staffing arrangements and possible introduction of incentives.
9. Maintenance: This covers a wide and varied field of operations, embracing the maintenance of plant and machinery, electrical appliances, buildings, roadways, etc. and is often a source of considerable expenditure.

Maintenance can be broadly classified under two headings:

(a) Preventive maintenance(e.g. routine oiling, greasing, cleaning, painting and periodic inspections)
(b) Curative or emergency maintenance (e.g. repairs, alterations, improvements, etc )

The vital importance of avoiding production delays and dislocation of work flow renders it imperative that maintenance operations or periodic inspections should be planned as far as possible to ensure maximum plant utilization, but by virtue of its peculiar service to production it may be necessary to perform much of the work out-side normal working hours.

Cost reduction action in this connection must discriminate between the necessity for such work and the excessive overtime which can easily become a feature of this kind of service.

The problem is further accentuated by difficulties of supervision where maintenance staff may be scattered throughout the factory at any one time.

The establishment of standard times for many of the recurring maintenance operations presents a possible means of achieving some measures of control and economy, and could provide a useful foundation for the introduction of employee incentives on a group or individual basis.