Battling over adequate space for maintenance need not be a fixed pie game. In many instances, you can increase the size of the pie.
If you’re the plant engineer, this means waging those space battles less often. If you’re a contractor, you solve a customer’s space problems and get upgrade projects.
Here are four ideas to start with:
- Upgrade old motor control centers. The European standards make use of smaller form factors, DIN rails, and other features to result in a smaller footprint. This saves space (your goal here), but the newer devices also have features that improve maintainability.
- Replace older motor drives. The progression in motor drives has been that the packages keep getting smaller. By replacing an older drive with a newer one, you can gain space without taking an inch away from what is currently allocated to production.
- Upgrade instrumentation. Eliminate or reduce some space requirements, at least in contested areas, by replacing older instrumentation with newer, networked versions. Being able to monitor and control remotely from your laptop reduces the need to be in the area in the first place. It also reduces the number of space-taking displays in that area.
- Add lighting. This doesn’t create space in itself, but it makes the available space more effective. This means you may have a reduced “space need” to fight over. Consider installing extra lighting to eliminate shadows around electrical gear. LED-style lighting is increasingly an excellent choice.