Keeping industrial equipment running is a top priority for owners, as every minute of downtime costs money. Did you know that your engine choice, and how you use it, has a big impact on uptime? Read on to discover five ways to maximize your uptime.
1. Finding the right size
When it comes to industrial engines, the right size very much depends on the application you're working in. An engine that's too small will result in average loads that are too high, and you'll struggle to perform the equipment's intended tasks. This will lead to increased wear on the engine and its components. However, if it's too big, the equipment won't run efficiently. That's why it's crucial to work with your engine manufacturer to find the right size for your application and usage to maximize uptime. Volvo Penta works with customers to perform simulations on factors such as speed and torque trace, and calculate an accurate description of how the engine should be sized for its workload.
2. The engine aftertreatment system can make all the difference
Stage V emission legislation requires off-road engines up to 560 kW to have a diesel particulate filter (DPF) which captures and stores soot. Active regeneration - the process of burning off this soot - can cause significant downtime as it requires the engine to stop. This can be minimized by choosing the right diesel engine and aftertreatment system (EATS) concept to suit your specific needs.
The intervals between regenerations can vary greatly between engine manufacturers and their EATS concepts. Volvo Penta has minimized the need for active regeneration as much as possible by maximizing the use of passive regeneration. Here, the soot accumulated in the DPF is burned off during normal machine operation, without the need for frequent active standstill regeneration. Through an optimized engine and EATS that work seamlessly together, we've increased uptime to keep customers' machines operational and profitable.
3. Get the right support when you need it
If something goes wrong, getting aftermarket support quickly is crucial to reducing downtime. Choosing an engine supplier that works with competent service providers who have the right spare parts at hand and can reach you quickly is vital. Things to discuss with your engine manufacturer include dealership coverage areas, call out service, product registration, service agreements and oil analysis.
4. Training operators to ensure correct usage
Operating your engine with maximum efficiency is key for longevity and uptime. Pushing the engine too hard and operating at too high RPM (revolutions per minute) can result in increased wear on components and higher fuel consumption. That's why it's important to train operators so they know the ideal RPM and engine loads for their application. This prevents downtime, and the cost savings will quickly repay the investment.
5. Using connectivity to improve uptime
Connectivity can increase uptime. Engines and components can generate vast amounts of data that can be used to analyze performance and report active or predicted faults. The data transmitted will also help to identify inefficiencies and will allow technicians to assess and diagnose an engine fault before going out to service it. Connectivity is already showing huge potential for improving uptime and will continue to grow in the coming years as suppliers, OEMs, technicians and operators are exploring how data can be used to establish new ways of working.