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Eaton Issues Urgent Call For A Focus On Power Management To Support Drive for Innovation During National Manufacturing Week



SYDNEY – 9 May 2016 - Budgeting for electricity, securing adequate electricity supplies and finding ways to use less power are all common topics of conversation among manufacturers when reviewing their power management requirements.  However, ensuring that the power their IT resources rely on is dependable for supporting both innovation as well as safety can sometimes be an after thought. That’s according to power management company, Eaton, which today has issued a reminder on the importance of power protection as the nation embarks on National Manufacturing Week being staged in Australia this week.

Manufacturers invest large sums of money in their IT infrastructure as well as the power required to keep it functioning.  They court the investment to keep them productive and competitive.  However, leaving that infrastructure defenceless against electrical dips, spikes and interruptions is counter-productive to the business strategy at the same time as manufacturers are also seeking new ways to create product differentiation and drive innovation in the fast ramping digital economy.

No manufacturer can afford to leave their IT assets unprotected from power issues and here are seven reasons why this is the case.

1. Even short outages can be trouble. Losing power for as little as a quarter second can trigger events that may keep IT equipment unavailable for anywhere from 15 minutes to many hours. And downtime is costly. 

2. Utility power isn’t clean. In practice, electrical power can vary widely enough to cause significant problems for IT equipment. According to current U.S. standards, for example, voltages can vary up to 8.3 percent from absolute specifications. That means that utility services promising 208-phase voltage may actually deliver 191 to 220 volts.  

3. Utility power isn’t 100 percent reliable. In the U.S., in fact, it’s only 99.9 percent reliable, which translates into a likely nine hours of utility outages every year.

4. The problems and risks are intensifying. Today’s storage systems, servers and network devices use components so small that they falter and fail under power conditions earlier-generation equipment easily withstood.

5. Generators and surge suppressors aren’t enough. Generators take time to startup, therefore there is a loss of AC power until the generator comes on-line, (typically 10 seconds), and they provide no protection from power spikes and other electrical disturbances. Generators however, are used to provide AC power during long utility power outages. Surge suppressors help with power spikes but not with issues like power loss, under-voltage and brownout conditions.

6. Availability is everything these days. Once, IT played a supporting role in the enterprise, but now it’s absolutely central to how most companies compete and win. When IT systems are down, core business processes quickly come to a standstill.

7. Availability is everything, but power costs must be managed. The cost of power and cooling has spiraled out of control in recent years. Data centre managers are typically held responsible for achieving high availability while simultaneously reducing power costs. Highly-efficient UPS systems can help with this goal, and products are available today that were not an option even a few years ago.

Gordon Makryllos, ANZ Managing Director, Eaton, said, “To compete in today’s global economy, manufacturers need to have a power strategy which not only supports safety and collaboration, but one which can  provide a key platform for driving operational efficiency, agility, innovation and customer reach.
 
“National Manufacturing Week is an ideal time for Australia’s manufacturers and their supply chain partners to consider the following questions when it comes to power management:

·       Can a power outage occur tomorrow? 
·       Do we have any protection against a power outage? 
·       What safety risks could occur as a result of the power outage? 
·       What would be the cost in loss of production as a result of the power failure? 
·       How would our customers be impacted? 
·       What are the consequential losses incurred when experiencing ‘downtime’?
·       Impact of energy consumption on operating costs?
·       Do they have visibility of their entire IT infrastructure?
·       Are they getting real time information from their systems? 
·       Do they have enough uptime to implement the contingency plan?

“Power Management technology will continue to develop throughout 2016 finding smarter ways to physically integrate the system into facilities and the software within manufacturers’ business systems. The upcoming election is also set to provide for greater clarity and stability on government energy management policy which has been ambiguous for a number of years. The greater certainty will allow manufacturers to place a renewed focus on power management plans and execute pending projects.”

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Eaton’s electrical business is a global leader with expertise in power distribution and circuit protection; backup power protection; control and automation; lighting and security; structural solutions and wiring devices; solutions for harsh and hazardous environments; and engineering services. Eaton is positioned through its global solutions to answer today’s most critical electrical power management challenges. 

Eaton is a power management company with 2015 sales of US$20.9 billion. Eaton provides energy-efficient solutions that help our customers effectively manage electrical, hydraulic and mechanical power more efficiently, safely and sustainably. Eaton has approximately 97,000 employees and sells products to customers in more than 175 countries. For more information, visit http://www.eaton.com/