- 65 percent indicated that they will spend less on safety programs and related products in 2009. Last year, nearly 30 percent spent more than $40,000 in the category.
- Similarly, 63 percent of respondents said that they will not invest as much this year on automation equipment as they did in 2008. Last year, more than 45 percent spent more than $100,000 in this category.
- Looking at overall capital equipment expenditures, 46 percent of respondents said that they spent more than $750,000 last year, but 75 percent felt that they will spend less in 2009 due to the current state of the economy.
- 33 percent of respondents said that their costs are down due to lower oil prices.
- 29 percent said that energy conservation initiatives have offset price hikes in keeping costs even.
- 17 percent said that costs are down due to internal energy conservation practices.
- 58 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.
- 42 percent have implemented new, more efficient lighting products.
- 42 percent also cited machinery overhauls and increasing preventive maintenance practices in reducing the amount of energy needed to power their older equipment.
- 25 percent said that they have purchased new, more efficient equipment.
- 17 percent added instrumentation that allows for better equipment monitoring and control in maximizing energy usage.
- 44 percent cited equipment upgrades.
- 35 percent said improved usage patterns.
- 21 percent identified facility improvements.
- The feedstocks that they are most familiar with, in order of precedence, are agricultural by-products, biomass and algae.
- Those feedstocks that are used in their plant, again in order of precedence, are agricultural by-products, biomass and plant by-products.
- The feedstock that respondents feel has the most promise moving forward is plant by-products.
- The biggest obstacle readers see with the integration of these non-fossil fuel sources are the associated development costs.
- The most important software functionality cited was inventory management (38 percent), followed by operational simulation capabilities (21 percent).
- The greatest realized gains from software investments were operational efficiency (44 percent) and asset accountability (35 percent).
- Looking ahead, respondents' greatest needs are simulation capabilities, followed by logistics and maintenance scheduling.
Content Item Type:
The most significant issues for this sector seem to stem from fewer capital equipment purchases being made over one year ago, and as a result, maintenance costs have increased, thereby impacting operational efficiency.