Everything is running OK. You expect better than ‘OK’ – you expect ‘great’ and your bank account demands it.
If you are already losing money on operations, perhaps the better question is ‘how can you afford not to’? We get it – adding operational expense for a consultant right now doesn’t excite you. You are probably already anxious about the situation, have tried other consultants, and invested in additives, stimulants, and other quick-fixes. Sometimes these work… if you are still reading this, they probably didn’t. So how is help from Cavanaugh going to be any different?
First of all, Cavanaugh diagnoses and determines the cause of the issues negatively affecting performance. Unfortunately, many service companies and suppliers only look for issues that their products can address. This often leads to the application of products that may address symptoms or impacts caused by the root problem, but do not address the root cause. For example, a chemical sales vendor may see certain conditions that may be improved through one of their products, but does not address the actual problem. A common example we find is biomass population. Generally speaking, if we create and maintain the proper environment for the species of bacteria we need, they will be present without constant addition via artificial means. So, if your population of methanogens is lower than expected, simply adding more ‘bugs from a jug’ will not solve the issue causing less favorable biomass population. Often, this ‘band aid’ provides temporary improvement, but as the population continues to expire and reach ‘normal’ levels for the current conditions, a determination is made that yet more jugs of bugs are needed, as well as a whole suite of other chemicals and additives.
That is not to say that these products are not valuable, and even necessary, in some instances — they are. However, if there is another contributing factor that is detracting from the success of your system, simply addressing one of the results will not right the system.
Our diagnostic process starts at the end of your processes and works towards the feedstock infeed, evaluating the host of variables at each step that may be affecting performance. Sometimes the solutions include additives, chemicals, and additional equipment; however, many times the performance can be improved simply by changing some of the operating parameters of the system – or both.
Optimization does not mean “performance improvement at all costs”. Rather, it refers to the better output of your system given the cost and benefit of change implementation. Realistic assessment of equipment, staffing, controls, and management practices will lead us to the nexus of operating cost and performance. Sometimes, the correct business decision, factoring operating costs, revenue streams, and risk falls somewhere shy of ‘maximum possible output’, but lands squarely on maximum profitability.
Whether your bioenergy system is underperforming or you just want to make sure you are operating optimally, the Cavanaugh Team can help you identify the steps to reaching and maintaining optimum performance.