Creating a Sustainable Plant Lifecycle-- #lifecycleengineering #lifecycleinstitute #highimpactlearning #pauto #mfg

May 13, 2011

Wednesday was a very valuable day in terms of outside visitors. We were also visited by Catherine Marshall, director of marketing for a fascinating company called Life Cycle Engineering.

Here's the problem with making your plant all nice, green and sustainably fuzzy. After you start putting out PR that you're as green as they come, and you've replaced all the lightbulbs and put the lights on motion sensors, what do you do next? Or are you all hat and no cattle, as they say in Texas?

Wednesday was a very valuable day in terms of outside visitors. We were also visited by Catherine Marshall, director of marketing for a fascinating company called Life Cycle Engineering.

Here's the problem with making your plant all nice, green and sustainably fuzzy. After you start putting out PR that you're as green as they come, and you've replaced all the lightbulbs and put the lights on motion sensors, what do you do next? Or are you all hat and no cattle, as they say in Texas?

Fact is, apparently, actually producing a sustainable plant isn't as easy as waving a wand and singing "Bippety Boppety Boo!" You have to look at all the processes, both physical and work processes, and figure out how to make each process use less energy, produce less carbon footprint, and operate more robustly over the entire life cycle of the plant from here forward.

Okay, big shot! Just how are you going to do that?

In steps Life Cycle Engineering, who will do an audit of your processes, teach you how to set goals and help you craft a plan to achieve those sustainability goals.

Over the years, Catherine said, Life Cycle Engineering, or LCE (www.lce.com) has found that after the initial engagement with a client, the best value they can give a client is to provide instruction on the nuts and bolts of achieving reliability goals, sustainability goals, and thinking about plant processes and maintenance in a way that embraces the life cycle of the plant. In other words, LCE has become a teacher, as well as a consulting engineering company.

This resulted in what they call the Life Cycle Insititute, which provides global training in operating and managing the processes and the change cycle needed to produce sustainable results.

They aren't a lean consulting company, she said, even though they have black belts on their staff. They aren't welded to any specific model.

What they want to do is to provide each client with the hand-picked, best in class information (they don't build) that the client needs to institute and make sustainable (there's that word again) in their own facility.

Why is this kind of training and consulting important? It sure is different than the usual kind. Most enterprises have two specific sets of consultants. At the plant level, the EPC companies, independent system integrators and the vendors provide process consulting and automation and control system consulting and design, manufacture and installation. At the enterprise end, the big accounting firms that have taken to calling themselves consultants produce top down 30,000 foot reports that are long on theory and short on practical "how the heck do I DO that?" steps.

LCE has found a niche as the people who can provide that "how to" to their customers from the plant floor to the enterprise. Nice niche.

Everybody I have talked to about LCE says they not only have hat but lots of cows. Their consultants come with decades of practical experience in many different manufacturing verticals, so they can answer that "how the heck..." question with "well, how about looking at this, or possibly doing this over here?" instead of spouting theory.

I like what they do, and I think we'll see more from LCE at www.ControlGlobal.com.

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