Based on recent industry research, average wrench time (time spent adding value to equipment, plant and machinery) in the energy industry is less than 4 hours per 12-hour working day.

Poor productivity has long been an issue in the energy sector supply chain. Energy prices have been broadly depressed for the last two years amid a changing regulatory environment for renewables. Meanwhile, actual wrench time illustrates the productivity crisis and reaffirms our belief that rapid changes must be made if the industry is to meet today’s challenges.

The financial ramifications of overcapacity in renewables, as well as the well-publicised collapse of global oil prices has seen competition growth that undermines the commerciality of operations with low wrench time.

Wind FarmSo where is the time going? From our research, technicians are regularly shedding hours on the following areas:

Waiting: This stems largely from poor planning and lack of organisation. Many technicians lose time performing unnecessary tasks or waiting for equipment, third party assistance or the completion of reactive maintenance.

Administration: As well as being highly susceptible to error, the need to complete paperwork manually has consistently been a drain on technician time. Technicians lose time finding supporting information (e.g. User Manuals), recording completed work and equipment information (which then has to be completed for a second time by back-office staff) and communicating with technical experts. It is a hugely inefficient system that accounts for around 10-15% of a typical working day for the majority of technicians.

Meetings: The expansion of a technician’s role and increased regulatory requirements has resulted in time being lost to more meetings. Mobility apps and productivity tools can ensure all information is available for safety briefings and all identified risks are quickly captured and actioned.

While, to an extent, each of these issues has always existed in the industry, it has taken a crisis to trigger the need for response.

The combination of low energy prices and growing competition means businesses can no longer sweep such productivity problems under the carpet and must embrace innovation that prioritises visibility and connectivity.

Operational mobility can help with each of the above areas by allowing businesses to:

To find out more about Spartan Solutions Phalanx mobile application software click here.