Age-Old Factors That Bring Down Manufacturing


Age-Old Factors that Bring Down Manufacturing

and a New Age Solution to Get Them Back Up and Running

If you make anything, manufacturing is the heart of your business.  Whether you’re in pharmaceuticals, electronics or a brewery.  When the manufacturing goes down, the company goes down with it.

Unfortunately, the consequences are just too severe. If you’re a food manufacturer, for example, you’re facing the risk of food spoiling. You might be missing distribution trucks, and you might also fail to meet contract commitments with the retailers that sell your goods. In its most severe stages, manufacturing downtime can cost a company nearly $40,000 an hour.

Manufacturing lines are vulnerable to failures related to old equipment breakdowns and software crashes. During a recent Volt480 customer survey, more than 80 percent of respondents blamed failures on electrical, hardware or software issues.

It’s during this time that manufacturers face three common problems:

  • finding specialized, skilled support resources that are available immediately
  • troubleshooting increasingly complex, interconnected systems
  • navigating B2B procurement processes to quickly order and pay for emergency services.

Skilled and available resources are difficult to find quickly on a local basis. Large equipment suppliers might have the field service engineers, but then there’s the issue of scheduling and transportation to get the resources to the manufacturer. They might operate on the other side of the world in different time zones and different languages.

The next challenge is finding the technician who is familiar with your broken equipment. Many manufacturers run with older, legacy equipment that might have been supported by workers who are now retired. Newer systems require technicians who are freshly trained and certified.

From our survey, we found that manufacturers say on average 17 percent of their equipment is covered under contracts, leaving the rest of their equipment at risk to failing without a dedicated service resource. More than half say those resources are difficult or extremely difficult to find.

And finally, there's the never-ending process of setting up the vendor through procurement. By the way, did we mention that you might be losing $40,000 an hour until you’re back up and running?

Volt480 tackles all three issues in a unique way.

First, we help manufacturers find local and knowledgeable resources with a new app that quickly connects plant managers with local service providers including automation system integrators and industrial electricians through an on-demand marketplace. Our customers use the app, which is available through the Apple App Store and Google Play, to locate and connect with service providers who are knowledgeable and experienced with their equipment. 

We then combine an on-demand, crowd-sourced services platform with machine learning technology that collects data on the problem and solution across a wide variety of production equipment and technologies. This knowledge enables the company to build machine-learning models to address future failures and complete repairs faster and more efficiently.

Payments are much simpler. Service providers set their rates and Volt480 processes the payment through a credit card, saving customers from working through the traditional PO/invoicing process.

Manufacturers then have an opportunity to provide reviews and ratings on their experience with the service provider, which can be viewed later by other potential customers.

We believe Volt480 is exactly what companies need to get their manufacturing back up and running in short order, saving them time and keeping their distributors, retailers and customers happy.

As the ecosystem of local repair technicians grows, the Volt480 app and service will change the way the industry addresses manufacturing downtime.

April Beasley