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November 12, 2021

What is Machine Misalignment Costing You?

By claresnape

pump engineer cropped

We often hear from clients that machine misalignment is a costly and inconvenient problem. But, just how costly is it? It is far more expensive than most people realize, especially when you take today’s supply chain concerns into account. Between downtime, equipment damages, overtime for repairs, and supply chain interruptions, a fairly minor amount of misalignment can snowball into an extreme expense very quickly. 

So, how do you determine how much a misaligned machine could cost you and why does it matter? Determining the cost of misalignment is as simple as knowing the value of the machine’s production, the cost of downtime and the cost of repairs. Understanding these factors allows you to determine the cost of misalignment over time, and it will demonstrate how an investment in predictive maintenance makes sense.  

As you prepare to calculate the cost of misalignment, ask yourself: 

  • How much revenue does the machine produce?
  • How long will the machine be down for? 
  • What is the cost of the machine’s downtime? 
  • Are repairs needed? How much do they cost?
  • How long will repairs take?
  • What labor costs are associated with making repairs (repair time, downtime, etc.)? 

To calculate the cost of misalignment, first determine the cost of the machine’s downtime, the cost of labor up to this point, and the estimated cost of repair including labor. Next, add the revenue you’ve lost leading up to this point. Make sure to include the time it will take to repair the machine in your downtime. Finally, take the energy cost related to machine misalignment into account. Tests performed by Acoem USA and various engineering schools estimate that misaligned rotating equipment will increase energy costs by 3-5% and aligning these machines will lower energy costs 3-5%. Calculate and include your estimated energy cost to get the most accurate cost. 

Downtime + Cost of Repairs + Cost of Labor + Lost Revenue = Cost of Misalignment 

It is necessary to take the current state of the supply chain into consideration as well. Supply chain delays, whether it be time to get replacement parts or damage and delay to your supply chain, can drastically increase the cost of a misaligned machine. 

Now that you have a sense for just how expensive misaligned machines can be, what can you do to prevent the costs of misalignment from catching up to you? Begin by developing and implementing a predictive maintenance strategy. Investing in an effective strategy will ensure the longevity and profitability of your machines. Make sure your team is equipped with an understanding of the strategy you develop and the ability to effectively and efficiently execute it using alignment tools. Finally, commit to practicing your predictive maintenance strategy and  proactively monitor and repair machines. 

Do you have questions about developing a predictive maintenance strategy for your plant? Connect with us!

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