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If you don’t measure it—you can’t manage it.

Posted November 26, 2008 10:09 AM by Chris Kelley
Pathfinder Tags: lean

By Rod Ellsworth

When you buy a new piece of equipment, do you factor energy efficiency into your total lifecycle costs? If you do, you're going to have to understand what your current equipment is consuming in terms of energy. The thought process has to be integrated into how facilities are maintained and operated from now on.

As an example, we've done some audits lately of manufacturing operations, and a particular manufacturer had a 100HP motor out on their plant floor. That type of motor normally costs $10,000, according to their procurement agent, and it was designed at a certain percent efficiency—in this case, 94 percent.

That $10,000 motor, over its life expectancy, was operating 40,000 hours. After 40,000 hours, they say there is degradation in the motors and you probably should replace it—if you adhere to the OEM recommendation. Over the course of that 40,000 hours—and that's five years—the question I asked this manufacturer is, 'do you have any idea of how much energy that motor is consuming?' And the answer was 'no.' They said 'my job is to maintain that asset, because I want to extend the life of it as long as possible.' So I shared with them that, if they were paying about 10 cents/kwh, that $10,000 motor would cost over $300,000 in energy over a five year life expectancy—and that's if it were running at 94 percent energy efficiency. So the bad news was, we tested it, and that motor was running at less than 50 percent energy efficiency, and that was going to cost them over $600,000 a year to run that one motor.

Here was the issue: they never would have known that unless you can measure the amount of energy being consumed by that specific piece of equipment. You can't manage what you don't measure—so we measure the energy consumption, along with the other information, on a piece of equipment, and then we proactively go out and maintain that for peak energy efficiency, as well as peak OEE.


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Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: "Dancing over the abyss."
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Re: If you don’t measure it—you can’t manage it.

11/28/2008 8:38 PM

Great point, but how much equipment was NAME PLATE- RIGHTSIZED at time of order?

That kind of designed in built in mismatch between design capability and ACTUAL operating parameters is legion in industry, particularly if equipment was not purchased in the last couple of years.

You are looking at the energy in. Thats valid. I would look at their operating constraints which are keeping them fromrunning at the motors optimum. Thats cheaper than buying new motors or other gear... MODIFY THE PROCESS! DONT have to just buy new stuff. Perhaps thats what you mean by peak OEE.

This wouldn't be happening, by the way, if MANAGEMENT hadn't fired all of the industrial engineers for savings of their salary expense, resulting now in outside industrial engineers called "lean consultants" to point out how bad things have gotten in the interim.

Ultimately, its a failure of both design and management; you guys are selling ice water to them trapped in HELL. Thats nice of you.

They could use it.


People say between two opposed opinions the truth lies in the middle. Not at all! Between them lies the problem, what is unseeable,eternally active life, contemplated in repose. Goethe

Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 1

Re: If you don’t measure it—you can’t manage it.

01/08/2009 2:07 AM

I agree with Rod Ellsworth, measuring electricity consumption in a facilty is very important. The third "M" I would like to add to your first two (Measure & Manage) is "what Matters". In other words you have to Measure what Matters and THEN you can Manage.

It would be nice to have energy measurements on every single motor on a facilty and have a history of the electricity consumption of that motor for a few years (so that you can track the efficiency), but it would be a waste of your precious time. CHOOSE the motors that consume the most electricity (those that actually have an affect on your elctricity bill) and then you can measure and manage those.

Another point I would like to make is that "energy" does not only refer to electricity, but thermal and other types of energy too. Saving electricity which results in a loss (or increase in the consumption) of thermal or any other type of energy is another waste of your precious time. I am therfore a firm believer that the concervation of energy should be an integrated approach encompassing the entire facility (and perhaps even neighbouring facilities) as well as ALL types of energy.

Thanx for your interesting blog Rod.


Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 3

Re: If you don’t measure it—you can’t manage it.

10/28/2009 2:22 AM

I love it "If you don't measure it-you can't manage it." Can I quote you? Is it Chris who came up with that or Rod?

I think OEE is going to become even more important as we are trying to cut costs as well as be 'green.' Hot topic!

Anonymous Poster
In reply to #3

Re: If you don’t measure it—you can’t manage it.

10/28/2009 12:06 PM

None - I think it was Juran, and that too about 3/4 century back. Not sure about the name only about 90%, but sure about the time era.

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