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Protecting Your Client’s Business Systems

26 May, 2016 By: Dave Perrotta

In business today, keeping operations up and running at full capacity is critical to business profitability. To keep up with demand, businesses today rely on a wide variety of equipment such as computers, printers, scanners and telecommunications solutions for a vast majority of daily tasks. The fact is, these devices rely on sensitive technology that can be easily damaged by electrical surges, spikes, noise or wiring issues. 

Those among us who think that this type of damage caused to business systems is rare should know these problems occur more often than the errant lightning strike. In fact, they happen on average between 50 and 60 times per month, and can cause device downtime that can be costly to businesses. In addition, industry analysts estimate that roughly 95% of all businesses have experienced downtime in the past two years with power-related issues as one of the leading causes.


There are plenty of risks associated with running a business, but downtime as a result of equipment failure is not often top-of-mind. Many businesses may not consider that the power flowing through their internal energy grid could be unstable and potentially damaging to equipment. Many businesses may think that a lighting strike poses the highest risk to their equipment when in reality, 80 percent of power anomalies actually come from within the building.

The cycling of HVAC systems, or energy draw from elevator banks, computers, security systems, digital signage and other products actually create damaging power anomalies such as surges, spikes, electromagnetic interference (EMI) or radio frequency interference noise (RFI). While these disturbances are typically low-level and not easily noticed, if equipment is left unmonitored and unprotected, these issues can cause malfunction or failure, causing annoying and expensive downtime.

Effects of Risks:

The 50 to 60 average monthly power anomalies translate into upwards of 700 in the span of a year. For all these unseen power sags and spikes, the resulting equipment disturbances, errors, malfunctions, unnecessary equipment replacement and downtime can be expensive, hinder productivity and take a toll on a business. If you don’t think that surges and spikes can have major impact on your business, think again. According to the Ponemon Institute, the average cost of downtime for a data center can run as much as $7,900 per minute — just one instance where power issues can increase disruption costs beyond general equipment repair.

Customer relations is a major contributor to the success of any business; so beyond the financial cost of replacing or repairing expensive equipment, downtime can cost businesses customers, contracts, and reputation. While it can be difficult to measure just how much your reputation is worth, businesses of all sizes depend on their ability to deliver for their clients. Downtime costs in this regard can include lost business with customers both in the long term and the short term. Simply put, the inability for a business to deliver due to downtime can result in detriments far beyond a specific dollar amount and include lost opportunity, shaken customer loyalty, damaged reputation and possibly lowered employee morale.

That said, having a system in place that proactively protects equipment and business systems is much more practical than attempting to plan for a catastrophic power event such as a lighting strike. This is especially true when the equipment that the system protects is expensive and costly to repair or replace. Safeguarding office equipment with proper surge protection not only prevents unexpected equipment failures, but can also improve the reliability and lifespan of electronic equipment by preventing degradation and premature failure of integrated circuits.

 The true return in investing in proper surge protection and power conditioning for businesses shines through in the ability of the system to improve the performance of the connected equipment and keep it running without disruption.

What is top of the line power protection?

Power protection devices have been around for a long time, yet surveys find that up to 60 percent of small businesses think that their equipment is defended with a simple uninterruptable power source (UPS), when actually they need surge protection to handle the power anomalies that hit critical equipment. A UPS only protects against blackouts and brownouts by providing battery backup for users to properly shut down their equipment.

Power strips’ protection technology consists of a metal oxide varistor (MOV), which offers little defense and as well as a limited lifespan, no method of warning users when they’ve failed, and lets damaging surge energy though to equipment. Both of these substandard solutions still leave connected equipment highly vulnerable to power transients and other harmful power-related events. 

Businesses should seek out quality power protection devices that safeguard against the effects of all types of power problems and provide diagnostic intelligence that can help businesses more accurately identify power issues before they become an expensive problem.

Quality power protection devices don’t rely solely on an MOV, but rather feature Multi-Stage protection that pulls the heat from MOVs so that they don’t degrade and diverts the destructive effects of surges away from connected devices. This proven technology, found throughout the portfolio of ESP solutions from AMETEK Electronic Systems Protection, provides an additional layer of protection and ensures mission-critical devices are not hit by or damaged from harmful anomalies. 

Safeguarding systems with ESP can also result in a savings of about $205 per machine, per year which is a significant value proposition for businesses looking to improve profitability and equipment reliability.   

Investing in premium power protection can prolong equipment lifespan and avoid downtime that can lead to loss of customer good will, lost sales, decreased productivity, delays or recovery time. A small step in proactive protection can go a long way in preserving equipment and minimalizing issues.

As a leader in advanced power protection, intelligent diagnostics, and remote monitoring solutions, AMETEK Electronic Systems Protection, and its ESP brand, offers a complete portfolio for the business equipment with scalable solutions that can safeguard business systems of all sizes.


Dave Perrotta is the Director, Business Manager for AMETEK Electronic Systems Protection. To learn more, please visit www.espsurgex.com   

About the Author: Dave Perrotta

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