Calculating the total cost of ownership of materials handling solutions

A new assessment tool from Claudius Peters Technologies SAS clearly highlights the operating cost advantages of automated materials handling systems over mobile equipment.

When it comes to investing in bulk materials handling, lower capital cost (CAPEX) proposals traditionally win the contract. This approach favours the selection of mobile equipment, such as wheel loaders, trucks and dumpers, rather than automated solutions based on stackers and reclaimers.

But CAPEX is only part of the picture. A new assessment tool from Claudius Peters Technologies SAS (CPTSAS) now enables customers to look beyond initial CAPEX and accurately calculate the total cost of ownership (TCO) of both mobile equipment and automated systems. This has previously been difficult to quantify in way that could be easily incorporated into budgets.

TCO takes into account not just CAPEX but also the operating costs (OPEX) of equipment. And here automated systems have the advantage over mobile equipment with:

  • Lower fuel and power consumption
  • Lower maintenance costs (lower wear, spare parts requirements etc.)
  • Lower labour costs

These benefits add up to substantial savings over a 20-year operating period. In one typical example, the TCO of an automated system with stacker and reclaimer was less than half the TCO for mobile equipment (Table 1).

Table 1. Typical material handling at a clinker grinding plant with clinker stockpiled at a rate of 600t/p and reclaimed at a rate of 225t/h

In addition to the cost advantages, automated systems are also safer to operate and maintain than mobile equipment, and produce less dust and air pollutants: key benefits when it comes to improving worker health and safety, and reducing the impact of operation on the environment.

“Automated systems may require higher initial investment, but our new assessment tool clearly shows the financial benefits of such systems in terms of much lower TCO,” said Ahmed Ben Chaabane, Sales Engineer at CPTSAS. “When the cost advantages are combined with their other benefits to health and safety and the environment, we believe the case for investing in automated materials handling is now clear.”

Download: Making the TCO case for automated materials handling

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