Chances are you have great insurance coverage for almost everything in your manufacturing facility, which is great, but do you have a back-up power plan in place? There are a ton of commercial warehouses, factories, and other plants that do not have appropriate industrial generators, or in fact, a back-up place in the case the power goes down.
A 2018 survey from S&C Electric Company found that one in four companies experience a power outage at least once a month. These outages are not only inconvenient, but they also cost businesses, like yours, a ton of cash.
The Cost of Losing Power and Common Causes
Revenue loss due to downtime caused by loss of power varies based on the industry, length of the outage, time of day, etc but ITIC reported that 98 percent of organizations say one hour of downtime costs over $100,000.
The monetary cost of downtime isn’t the only thing that your business will suffer from if it loses power. You can also experience:
- Decreased Employee Productivity
- Lost Data
- Equipment Damage
There are common causes of power outages. The main cause being something you have no control over- the weather.
In January 2019 over 45,000 KCPL customers in Kansas City were left without power after a huge snowstorm – many businesses and individuals didn’t get their power back for 4 days according to the Kansas City Star.
Common weather-related reasons like the snowstorm in 2019, thunderstorms with heavy rain and winds, and other severe weather types can easily knock out power and there is absolutely nothing you can do to control this.
When this happens, if you don’t have industrial generators in place, you are at the mercy of a waiting game to get those lines back up.
- Animals: Animals like squirrels and raccoons can get into to fuse boxes, chew through wires, and cause power loss.
- Vehicles: When vehicles hit poles or power lines, they can cause your business to lose power.
- Equipment Failure: Outdated or unmaintained equipment can cause warehouses and manufacturers to lose power.
- Spikes: Increased voltage in electrical supply can easily cause outages. Spikes are often a result of lightning or short-circuiting.
Keeping the Lights on with Industrial Generators
Imagine the power going out to your warehouse and the panic that ensues, then imagine the relief of knowing you have an industrial generator on your side – you know what you need to do.
Be proactive and have a generator fitted long before you ever need to call it into action.
You’ll need to make sure that you have a generator that is large enough to keep your critical systems online. You can work with an expert to get an overview of what you will need, and you and talk about your future plans as well.
A professional will be able to factor in this information and offer you a bid for getting an industrial generator installed and set up.
You will probably want to have an Automatic Transfer Switch. This intelligent device will monitor the utility power, and when an outage is registered, it will tick over into the back-up generator. When the power is restored, it will automatically switchback, and the generator will shut down.
Planning and Maintenance
It is not enough to have everything fitted and ready to go. You need to make sure your generator is well maintained.
The generator will need to be regularly tested to make sure that everything is operating correctly. There have been incidents in the past where generators weren’t being regularly tested, and when the power went out, businesses suffered.
Much like a car, you’ll need to have the generator checked to ensure it is performing correctly. Factor this into your plans.
How long will your current fuel last in the event of an outage? If the answer is ‘you don’t know,’ then you need to think about it.
How do you intend to keep the generator running beyond a few hours if you have to?
Refueling will be an essential part of your planning. And in the worst-case scenario of flooding, is your generator built to keep running? All of these are essential questions that could be the difference between managing well and a double disaster.
Fuel is going to be the key to the whole operation, and if you haven’t considered the next few points, now is the time to rectify that.
- Over an extended period, some fuel types can begin to separate, making it less effective, and in some cases, it can clog up the system. When you have the generator installed, explicitly ask for instructions on how to flush the fuel should you need to.
- Consider additives to make the fuel last longer. Fuel costs money, and while it isn’t in use, it can begin to degrade. There are a number of additives that you can use to extend the life of your fuel.
- Safe storage is essential. Fuel can be dangerous, and while we tend to be highly aware of the dangers of gas, we are somewhat more relaxed about liquids – without good reason. Store the tanks in a well-ventilated space, away from the main buildings.
- Rotate and resell. If you have purchased a bulk amount, then you will likely not see the use of the fuel. After a year it won’t be as good. So buy fuel you can make use of elsewhere, or have a plan for selling, and buying new stock.
- Strict calculations are going to come into play here. You don’t want to over or underbuy. So work with your generator supplier and find out how much you’d need to cover your warehouse for a few days (or worst case scenario).
The bottom line is that all businesses are heavily reliant on gas and electricity to keep themselves running.
It is impossible to say that you won’t, at some point, suffer from a power outage or a blackout. It should be considered not as an ‘if’ but a ‘when’ situation.
In the end, it is in the best interest of your business to make sure that you have a generator fitted as soon as possible.
Click below to contact Procircuit, Inc. for more information on protecting your bottom line by installing back up industrial generators.