Manufacturers urged to step up resilience planning

UK manufacturers must step up their energy resilience planning if they are to meet the challenges of tomorrow. This is the warning from technology firm, Siemens, which warns manufacturers face increasing operational pressures and evolving energy requirements, and are at risk of falling foul of unmaintained legacy electrical systems.

Toby Horne, senior lead for Siemens Energy Resilience, says ageing electrical energy assets pose critical risks for the sector.

“Critical electrical power equipment, which has accumulated over decades, forms a significant backbone of today’s manufacturing industry. Either housed in a single location or clustered across multiple sites, a complex patchwork of modern and legacy technologies makes up the electrical systems powering UK manufacturing,” he said. “Interspersed throughout the country, these engineering assets have been added to, adapted, maintained and repaired or replaced over time; all are at various stages and states of health in a sprawling complicated picture of electrical systems.”

“These systems are supplying energy to, in almost all cases, mission critical operations but years of reactive maintenance, planned or emergency repairs and differing or inconsistent service practices have made it near impossible, for a significant proportion of businesses, to accurately gauge how these electrical assets are actually shaping up," he added.

"Many are not aware of whether their systems can handle even greater demands, others are simultaneously grappling with an energy transition that is adding supply diversification, on-site energy production and decarbonisation targets to their sites – posing additional risks, more points of failure and ever more pressure."

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