In the past, the idea of installing redundant machinery didn’t sit well with many engineers.
Because engineers are traditionally trained to justify purchases based on ROI accounting, they often didn’t see the value in extra systems that don’t increase output.
But these days many savvy manufacturers are embracing the so-called “N+1 redundancy” that adds at least one backup component to their equipment. That’s because analyses common to the insurance industry show such equipment proves its worth during critical failures by preventing production loss, equipment damage or even employee injury. And that’s particularly true when it comes to the water chiller systems that fill so many manufacturing needs.
N+1 and lean manufacturing are also more compatible than you might think, argues Jon Miller in Quality Digest.
“We need a certain amount of fat within any system to survive those natural disasters that are survivable,” he writes. “This lesson should be learned and applied more widely.”
When it comes to chiller redundancy, Dimplex Thermal Solutions offers a number of advantages. By installing redundant capacity in an initially installed chiller — with space for additional individual modules as needed — it can offer a significant cost savings over installing a second chiller down the road. Further, its modules can be built to any design specs, with nearly limitless capacity.
The firm’s state-of-the-art chillers can address varying heat loads by coming online only as needed, and when a system fails they lose only half of their cooling capacity. Industries and functions commonly taking advantage of that are laser, hydraulic, welding, printing equipment, jacket cooling, food processing, battery back-up and data centers.
Determining how much chiller redundancy you initially need is typically deduced via risk-management analysis. Some steps in that process include:
- Identifying critical points. These are the areas that would wreak the most havoc on daily production if your chillers were undersized or not working to spec.
- Tracking patterns. How frequently have your systems failed in the past, and how much of that can be attributed to regular wear and tear that can be anticipated?
- Considering consequences. What might chiller inadequacy mean in terms of financial losses? Cost per unit? Employee morale? PR? Would a rush-order replacement be problematic or cost prohibitive? Is worker injury possible?
- Weighing scope. How complex and expensive would it be to add new, non-modular chiller capacity at a later date?
Contact your local sales representative to learn more about how you can save with a redundancy.