In bulk material conveying, the initial cost of upgrading to abrasion-resistant products might seem prohibitive. That’s because it isn’t typically just a couple of percent over the expense of a regular steel fitting; it’s often multiple times that of a regular pipe fitting or weldment.
However, that cost is justified and will save you money in the long run (there’s math below).
Abrasion-resistant fittings are usually made using special designs, specific processes, and unusual materials. And while we’ll be honest and say the upfront costs can be considerable, the payback is equally huge.
What Return do you get on Abrasion-Resistant Components?
Here’s an example to illustrate our point.
Let’s say you have a carbon steel pipe elbow at the top of a silo on your pneumatic conveying system.
This elbow is in the air in a difficult-to-reach location. It costs $165 to buy a new pipe elbow, plus another $60 to get it shipped to your facility. This elbow is subject to wear and needs changing out every six months or so.
Your facility doesn’t have a crane on-site, so every time you need to change out the elbow, it costs you $500 to rent a crane and $50 in labor to replace it.
In total, it costs $775 every time you need to change out this elbow, and this doesn’t count system downtime or the time spent cleaning up spilled material every time the elbow fails.
Alternatively, you could buy a Ceram-Back® Elbow, which costs $770, plus $75 shipping. You’ll still need to rent a crane and have someone install it, adding $550 to the price. In total, the cost of installing the Ceram-Back elbow is $1,395.
However, a Ceram-Back elbow lasts eight to 10 times longer than a regular steel elbow.
If the regular pipe elbow lasts six months, that means the Ceram-Back Elbow should last four years. During that time, you don’t have repeat costs.
So, in a four-year time frame, you spend $6,200 changing out steel elbows. However, in that same time frame, you could only spend $1,395 for a single Ceram-Back Elbow – and that is being conservative.
That means your return on investment is $4,805 over four years.
It even pays for the purchase of the Ceram-Back Elbow in the space of a single year!
So, while it might seem like a hefty initial investment, buying the Ceram-Back Elbow actually puts the company money ahead in one single budgetary period. The other three years of savings are just gravy.
The math looks like this:
What could you do with that saving?