- 63 percent indicated that they will spend less on safety programs and related products in 2009. Last year, more than 43 percent spent more than $40,000 in the category.
- Similarly, 87 percent of respondents said that they will not invest as much this year on automation equipment as they did in 2008. Last year, nearly 75 percent spent more than $100,000 in this category.
- Looking at overall capital equipment expenditures, 74 percent of respondents said that they spent more than $750,000 last year, but 63 percent said that they will spend less in 2009 due to economic conditions.
- 25 percent said that energy conservation initiatives have offset price hikes in keeping costs even.
- 24 percent said that costs are down due to internal energy conservation practices and lower oil prices.
- The remainder indicated that they continue to deal with rising energy costs.
- 69 percent have started to do simpler things like shutting off lights, and relying less prominently on heating and air-conditioning services to help control costs.
- 68 percent said that they have purchased new, more efficient equipment.
- 44 percent have implemented new, more efficient lighting products.
- 44 percent also added instrumentation that allows for better equipment monitoring and control in maximizing energy usage.
- 38 percent cited machinery overhauls and increasing preventative maintenance practices as a way to reduce the amount of energy needed to power their older equipment.
- 49 percent identified facility improvements.
- The remaining were split between improved usage patterns and individual equipment upgrades.
- The feedstocks that they are most familiar with, in order of precedence, are plant by-products, biomass and algae.
- Those feedstocks that are used in their plant, again in order of precedence, are biomass and plant by-products.
- The feedstock that respondents feel has the most promise moving forward is biomass.
- The biggest obstacle readers see with the integration of these non-fossil fuel sources is the lack of an industry infrastructure for handling these new feedstock types.
- The most important software functionality cited was maintenance scheduling (47 percent), followed by inventory management (27 percent).
- The greatest realized gains from software investments were quality control (40 percent) and operational efficiencies (27 percent).
- Looking ahead, respondents' greatest needs are simulation capabilities and inventory management.
Content Item Type:
As could be expected with the changes in its business climate, this segment will not be among the most dynamic when it comes to purchasing in 2009.