Six Reasons for Capital Equipment Disaster by Russ Sorrells

In my first postcollege job, I was a manufacturing engineer for Cummings Engine Co. in Columbus, IN.  Two weeks into the job, my boss came tome with a project to purchase ans industrial wash system, and I leaped at the opportunity.  It was a disaster.

I didn’t know where to begin researching for a supplier.  I had never prepared a request for quote and our cleanliness specs were vague (how dry is dry and how clean is clean).  I didn’t order some options that would have been helpful in cleaning filters, so we needed add-on equipment an the budget busted.  The equipment arrived and I had not prepared the are for its placement, so it sat on the dock for a couple of days.  We scrambled to clear area and set the drops for the machine.  In short, my first project was late, out of budget, and borderline on performance.

That was 20 years ago.  Since then, I have been a part of more than 500 capital projects.  Many have been a success, while some fell short of the promised return for the company.

Projects fall short of expectations for a handful of reasons that are, to some degree, avoidable.

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Written for Assembly Magazine by ATC Representative Russ Sorrells