Steel manufacturer reduces downtime costs

Case study: UK steel giant enlists DCO to reduce downtime costs

A major steel manufacturer uses DCO Systems’ easy to deploy monitoring technology to extend motor performance monitoring to new locations. By including this legacy equipment in their monitoring efforts, they have been able to reduce downtime. Reducing downtime on critical equipment lowers operational costs and improves plant efficiency.


A recent study found that machine downtime is costing Britain's manufacturers more than £180bn every year and that 53% of machinery downtime is caused by hidden internal faults. Notably, manufacturing steel takes that problem to the extreme. This is because processes are on a scale that incur exceptionally large downtime costs whenever production is halted. Therefore, solutions that reduce downtime can deliver a significant return on investment (ROI) in a short timescale.


With a mix of new and legacy equipment, extensive production areas, and a health and safety critical environment it is not easy to deploy solutions in a steel works. Furthermore, monitoring technology was already extensive on site but was not fully deployed into all areas due to reasons of time and cost. However, DCO’s affordable, adaptable solutions permitted an off-the-shelf solution to be reconfigured to meet the specific site challenges. Specifically, utilising energy harvesting technology and wireless communications simplifies deployment by eliminating the need new for power and communications wiring across the hundreds of motors under examination.

The use of direct-current (DC) motors also posed a technical challenge. Notably, many vendor solutions only work with alternating-current (AC) motors but DCO’s adaptable sensors delivered a solution. As a result, flexible power harvesting systems adapt to work with AC ripple on a DC source, and current sensing technology delivers DC to multi-kHz frequency response for live motor analysis.


In conclusion, simplified deployment reduces installation costs – with sensor units that can monitor multiple motors and further minimise install requirements. Bringing the per unit (motor) cost of monitoring down to an affordable level that easily meets ROI requirements for business cases.

Moreover, on board intelligence reduces integration costs – with sensor units that minimise communications requirements. Generating an extensive information set directly from the available data and reducing the volume of data that need to be stored or transmitted between systems.

DCO is ready to meet your monitoring challenges with affordable, flexible solutions. To book a free demo and learn more about DCO’s ready-to-deploy products, contact us or email

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Cirencester GL7 1YZ
United Kingdom

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