The Maslow pyramid for the fundamental human needs has five levels. Beginning with basic physical needs in food, water and clothes and ascending to self-esteem and development, these levels cover the needs of every resident of our planet. The difference is how sensitive we are to these levels. It is enough for some to wake up, go to work, get a stable average pay and think not of aspiring further. For others, development and perfection of one’s abilities, which guarantee no only higher profit but also such elusive concept as success.
However, if a human being is a defining element of our society, some of the characteristics can be transferred to businesses as the defining elements of the economic society.
Based on the Maslow pyramid example, which shows human needs, it is possible to derive the same for a business.
The basic level is minimum profitability to break even. Then comes the desire to increase this profitability to survive in the competitive environment. Form there, it’s up to image making, connections and, as the result, the drive to create a world known trademark.
Reduction of resource costs and technology improvement is for the businesses which do not intend to be stuck on the first step of the pyramid.
When the question of “How to sell more?” becomes “How to increase profit and increase market share?”, the business starts moving up.
The subject of this article is reduction of resource costs. Industrial production facilities, large and small, sooner or later run into problems of equipment wear and failures. The costs of purchasing, servicing and repairing the equipment occupies a significant share of the business’s budget. The new flashy technologies supposed to solve part of the problem, are not always considered a prudent investment. Why throw away something not broken. In some African countries they operate the plants and transportation left over from the colonial times until the equipment is utterly worn and broken.
Let’s consider a different scenario
For example, recently oil has been in the spotlight of technology development. There are systems which not only produce more profitable types of fuel for servicing of industrial machinery, but also reduce the environmental costs and costs of disposal of waste oil by purifying, filtering and regenerating it.
The manufacturer becomes the owner of his own formulation, for instance, of biofuel. With this, the company saves on fuel, becomes environmentally aware, assumes a more prestigious spot in the market and ascends along the pyramid towards the top.
Another significant example is regeneration and purification of used oil. For a quite reasonable price, the business gets a customized machine which pays for itself due to the economy on oil supply and waste disposal.
Expert research shows that transformer lifetime can be as long as 50 – 70 years. A rather small percentage of the equipment lives long enough for an overhaul. However, it is also known that all of the researched transformer develop problems that need solving in 10 – 15 years to extend their life time.
Let’s look at this example in more detail
Let’s say an industrial company N has several TM type transformer, each up to 2500 kVA. It is an average company with average annual profit and moderate needs. Equipment maintenance and repair is allocated a standard budget. Oil is used as dielectric liquid, the oil’s service life is 3 – 5 years. During this time the oil accumulated contaminants, solid particles, oxygen and moisture. Naturally, oil is disposed of in the end of its service, which implies transformer down time.
It is also possible to change the oil entirely. The remaining sediment promotes fast oxidation of oil and can also damage the cellulose insulation of the transformer.
The mobile oil processing systems, which exist in the market today, are connected to energized transformer . After complete purification cycle the oil is rid of gas, moisture and contaminants. The latter are completely removed by special filtration adsorbent columns.
Besides, some models of purification systems employ sorbents which can be regenerated. E.g. the Fuller’s earth sorbent which came into use in the 20th century, is an advanced sorbent. The economy is doubled: beside regeneration of oil by adsorbent, the system also degasses and dries the oil, and while the oil passes through the degasser, the adsorbent is reactivated.
The transformer can be energized during oil processing, eliminating down time.
The advantages illustrated by this example:
- Using mobile units for maintenance of all present equipment.
- Saving on waste disposal and resource purchases.
- Saving on sorbent, since Fuller’s earth is reactivated.
- Saving on engine maintenance.
- Uninterrupted supply of purified oil restored to its original specifications.
- Increased transformer efficiency.
As a result, the company N has stable profit, reduction of expenses and a better positive strategic vision. By implementing modern technologies, the company opens the door to new opportunities, and, of course, new needs. By caring for the environment a business enters new partnerships, saves financially and expands production.
By definition, the need arises when there an inconsistency between the desirable and the existing. It doesn’t matter where a company’s advancement begins: from biodiesel fuel production, operation of oil regeneration systems or implementation of Japanese robots for personnel. The most important thing is to keep true to the pyramid and ever aspire to develop towards the highest goals.