Wednesday, October 3, 2018

EMSDs – Who Buys Them? Who Uses Them? Why?

Who purchases Electrical Maintenance Safety Devices [EMSDs]? Who uses them? These are questions asked by employees when technological advances, like EMSDs, become available. What if your company has a go-live date in 120 days for incorporating [EMSDs] as part of the electrical asset inspection routes throughout the plant? Perhaps the management team has conducted a few team meetings to introduce the new inspection program and the new EMSDs that will be used. Employees will have questions. Why is it so important to change the inspection program and use EMSDs? Why are EMSDs attractive to the management team? What benefits will the end-user recognize while using EMSDs?

e-sentry-connect-inuse-1It is well documented that electrical equipment requires periodic maintenance to maintain normal operations and that these inspections are performed on the assets operating under full load conditions. Prior to the innovation of EMSDs, these inspections were time-intensive and required access panels to be opened which is extremely dangerous to the personnel performing the inspection. In the last blog, we defined what an EMSD was and what types of EMSDs are available to perform safe and reliable inspections of electrical assets with minimal to no PPE required. The overall outcome is to find the fault before the asset fails! Now, let’s talk about why companies are adopting EMSDs for their maintenance inspection programs, who buys them, who uses them and why.

Corporate Initiatives

Companies are focused three key initiatives: Reliable operations, providing the highest level of safety to their employees and controlling operational costs. The use of EMSDs provides value to all three initiatives.

1. Constant flow of electricity is critical to operations and profitability

2. Improve overall reliability by maintaining manufacturing infrastructure and electrical assets

3. Using EMSDs for electrical equipment monitoring to avoid faults and failures that could result in costly downtime

4. Strong commitment to employee safety and strong aversion to accidents and regulatory fines (OSHA)

5. Desire to improve the efficiency and accuracy of equipment monitoring and data collection

Return on Investment at a Paper Mill

What’s In It For the Technical Buyer?

The technical buyer of EMSDs is most likely in a management role and is responsible for managing either the employee safety program or the asset inspection program or perhaps, both. Their titles may be Environment, Health and Safety Manager, Maintenance Leader, Reliability Leader, Electrical Program Manager or Electrical

Engineer. Regardless of title, their goals are common: Keep the Plant Operations Running and Maintain Employee Safety. They are responsible for tracking data associated with:

* Risk Management

* Avoidance of unplanned downtime

* Safety

* Labor hour efficiency

* Data Management

* Compliance to standards and local regulations

The technical buyer recognizes that using EMSDs as part of a condition-based maintenance program will ensure safety, accuracy, efficiency and long-term ease of use for the users with minimal supervision. They are able to provide data to upper management illustrating how the use of EMSDs provides a clear and meaningful return on investment (ROI).

What’s In It For The Economic Buyer?

The economic buyer is part of the company’s upper management and is responsible for facility profitability and managing overall costs. Their titles may be Plant Manager, Facility Manager, Corporate Purchasing Agent or Corporate Reliability Leader. Loss of production time due to an unplanned stoppage is this person’s worst nightmare. This manager is driven to search for ways of doing more with less – in other words, increasing efficiency and cutting out excess costs. Their responsibilities include making purchasing decisions based on:

* Cost benefit analyses (ROI)

* Ensuring overall plant safety by reducing accidents

* Purchasing the best fit products at the lowest price

* Warranties

* Peer Case Studies

Once the economic buyer recognizes the ROI of using EMSDs in the inspection and maintenance programs, they will support the purchase of EMSDs and feel confident in their decision.

What’s In It For The End User?

The end user is the person who actually uses the EMSDs while they perform the routine inspections. Their titles may be Maintenance Technician, Condition Based Maintenance Technician or Maintenance Engineer. They are responsible for periodic inspections, data collection and record keeping. Safety is a top priority, so these are the people that have historically worn the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for extended periods of time. Their motivators are:

* Ease of Use

* Minimizing time wearing PPE

* Accurate inspection data collection

The end users will easily adapt to using EMSDs when they see how simple they are to use during an inspection and that minimal to no PPE has to be worn.


The benefits of adopting EMSDs as part of maintenance inspections offers many values to multiple types of employees within a facility. Improved operational reliability and productivity can be accomplished by implementing electrical maintenance safety devices [EMSDs] to monitor, maintain and anticipate problems with their electrical systems. The end user finds EMSDs easy to use while eliminating the need for wearing PPE.

The Technical buyer gains efficiency in operations and minimizes safety risks. The economic buyer can demonstrate efficiency while reducing overall operating costs. The company recognizes overall improvements to reliability which in turn minimizes downtime and loss of revenue.

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