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Manufacturers must ‘step-up’ energy resilience

Siemens UK has called on manufacturers to do more to strengthen their energy resilience plans in the face of operational pressures and evolving energy requirements, such as decarbonisation.

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In a new report published in February, the technology giant argues that too many UK manufacturers are failing to recognise the risks posed by critical ageing electrical assets. Legacy equipment failure could interrupt operations, damage reputation, accrue unforeseen costs (in fines or revenues) or even be a risk to life, the report states.

Toby Horne, Senior Lead at Siemens Energy Resilience, said that years of reactive maintenance, planned or emergency repairs and inconsistent service practices had made it “near impossible” for many businesses to gauge if their electrical assets are fit for purpose:

“Many [businesses] are not aware of whether their systems can handle even greater demands, [while] others are simultaneously grappling with an energy transition that is adding supply diversification, on-site energy production and decarbonisation targets to their sites - posing additional risks, more points of failure and even more pressure.

“Manufacturing is one of the most energy-intensive industries. Any power outages or pricing fluctuations can have significant ramifications on day-to-day operations and production output. The cost to businesses can be eye-watering when you consider 3% of all working days are lost in manufacturing through machine downtime, which costs UK business £180 billion each year.

“There is an impression that many are sleepwalking into potential danger, not wholly aware of the risks. A resilience strategy helps to save time, stress and strain. UK manufacturers must embrace the concept and make it their own personal responsibility to prepare for the energy challenges of today and tomorrow.”

Free webinar

Resilience First, a not-for-profit organisation led and funded by business to strengthen collective resilience, is hosting a special webinar on 16 March focusing on decarbonisation in manufacturing.

The online session, which will include a keynote address by Make UK CEO Stephen Phipson, will explore the role technology can play in delivering lower emissions and resilient infrastructure.

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