Sustainability, Cost Reduction Measures Yield Reliability, Competitive Budgets for OEMs
July 18, 2022
Continuous improvement, a way of life at Miller, benefits our Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) customers through enhanced quality and reliability and streamlined production.
Among our continuous improvement efforts is ongoing identification of new ways to create efficiencies, sustainability and cost reductions in our four plants. Undertaking these initiatives in our production facilities not only helps us manage overhead, but also contributes to establishing and maintaining competitive budgets for OEMs.
Several recent and upcoming initiatives will achieve these goals, providing long-term efficiency, sustainability and environmental payback.
- LED Retrofits Yield High ROI
Four recently completed lighting upgrade projects will generate tremendous returns on investment (ROI) by significantly reducing Miller’s electric energy consumption. Over the past year, in offices, on building exteriors and on machines, we have replaced thousands of incandescent lightbulbs with the far-more-efficient LED variety.
One of the projects, completed in early July 2022, entailed upgrading 37 1,000-watt lights with life expectancies of 1,100 hours to 240-watt LED fixtures expected to last 70,000-75,000 hours each. The new lights will pay for themselves in 40 months and save a projected $146,355 over the life span of the LED bulbs, translating to a potential ROI of 760%. The average ROI for the four completed lighting projects is almost 700%.
- Wastewater Recycling System Will Deliver Environmental Benefits
A wastewater recycling system, now in the planning stages, ultimately will cut Miller’s water consumption by more than half and drastically reduce our water expenditures. This forthcoming improvement supports one of our core operating principles: Reduce the environmental impact of our business.
We’re working with a wastewater management consultant to determine which system will enable us to recover the most water. Implementation is scheduled for 2023.
- Technology Addition Will Reduce Machine Downtime
To produce further efficiencies, we’re also upgrading our paint line technology. By adding a “human-machine interface” (HMI) to Miller’s existing programmable logic controller – a small computer that automatically controls various machine processes and components – we’ll create operating and monitoring efficiencies in our paint line equipment.
The upgrade will simplify the paint line’s electrical system and corresponding maintenance requirements by providing on-screen computer visualizations for operators. For example, workers will be able to remotely confirm all of a machine’s pumps are running simply by looking at the screen in their workstations. The system will run through a single computer program, reducing wiring, troubleshooting time and, if a breakdown were to occur, unnecessary downtime.
The update, which may put us ahead of our competitors, will enable identification of trends that could help us address maintenance needs before they affect functionality. The new HMI will improve the efficiency and longevity of our equipment, creating savings for both Miller and its customers.
Efficiencies and greater sustainability in our facilities translate to cost containment for OEMs in the form of competitive pricing and minimal production delays due to equipment breakdowns. Equipment reliability enhances worker productivity on the shop floor and enhances Miller’s ability to deliver high-quality parts on time.
Our continuous work to create operational efficiencies and adhere to high maintenance standards makes Miller a trusted supplier-partner our OEM customers can rely on.