Generating Light, Heat, and Hope
With the embarrassingly regular failure of the national power grid to meet commerce and industry, as well as homeowner needs for electricity, came the regular availability of generators in South Africa. As an initial solution to a failed power parastatal (that still rather unbelievably holds a legislated monopoly on power supply), generators became widely employed by industry to keep the wheels turning. A few downsides appeared shortly thereafter, one of which was more immediately apparent: generator service. Perhaps prodded by the panic around an electricity supply that was evaporating, not enough thought was given at times to a generator’s suitability and service needs.
From a relatively small market, generator sales and service have mushroomed in this country, driven largely by the persistent issues at the state supplier. In any manufacturing process requiring heat, business could not continue without on-site generated power. The need for light is common to every workplace and crucial for some. In the office environment too, lighting and power to run servers, PCs, and a host of electronic devices that render the workplace productive were critical, and generators stepped in to fill those needs.
Often, generators were accompanied by the rather naive assumption that, since there were no wheels, no steering rack, and no demands like those made of diesel vehicles, they could be expected to sit around and do their job as needed, without much thought given to their long-term maintenance. While generators are indeed not vehicles, they remain nonetheless diesel (or petrol) engines, working on the same principles as any combustion engine, and they need good maintenance to deliver good performance. Generator service is determined by hours worked and, unfortunately in South Africa, those hours add up mighty quickly.
Choosing the Right Generator for Your Needs
Right at the outset, when shopping for a generator to suit your business premises, it is important that you shrink the maintenance bill right then and there. How? By buying an appropriate machine for your purposes. That means a few things, but the upshot is this – poorly chosen or ill-fitting generators will produce more headaches and broad maintenance issues than when a generator is genuinely matched to what will be asked of it. A very common mistake is companies buying standby generators for regular use. This typically leads to a high demand for maintenance, constant dissatisfaction with the generator’s performance, and eventual failure of the machine.
Standby generators are just that – they stand quietly by when things are normal, only to kick in on the occasions when power fails. Yes, that can be a rather regular occurrence in South Africa, nonetheless no one should let their budget allow them to deceive themselves into believing a standby generator is anything other than what it claims to be. That is a classic case of false economy waiting to come home to roost.
Standby generators are highly cost-effective for many who have genuinely intermittent needs for an alternative power supply, but they cannot work every day! They are what they say they are – standby machines, ready to kick in when the lights go out, but wholly unsuited to running eight hours a day, for example. Particularly for businesses, investing in an unsuitable machine is akin to throwing money away. The maintenance will be painfully frequent, repairs will follow soon after, until in a far too premature time frame, the generator will simply pack up and be uneconomical to repair at all. The moral of the story? Do not do it! Make sure your needs are honestly met by the generator you purchase, or “generator service” will become words that make you flinch.
Staying Within Budget on Generator Service
Just as your initial choice of generator has to be made according to your genuine demands of the machine, so too is generator service a crucial component for long-term performance and value. We all know that diesel cars are serviced more regularly than petrol ones and, without a highly technical extrapolation of why that is, let us just say that the quality or purity of the diesel available in South Africa makes this so. Diesel engines need more regular servicing because diesel gums things up faster, largely due to its impurities as opposed to petrol, which is a more refined fuel. This also means that servicing a small or large diesel-driven generator needs to be regular and budgeted for.
An industrial generator is an investment, indeed far more so than the cars we so religiously maintain, and it makes no sense to spend good money on a generator, only to shorten its lifespan with slipshod service. In order to glean the maximum return for your outlay, you want to ensure that your generator service follows regular routines based on hours worked, and that the technicians are professionals skilled in the field. Very much as with diesel vehicles, competent technicians will understand the maintenance requirements of each generator service. Consumables that need replacing, components that need replacing down the line, and the maintenance of the overall health of the machine within its operational or performance requirements.
Although many companies skimp on generator maintenance after purchase, those are the same companies that denied a legitimate return for their investment. Industrial generators really are an investment, an investment in employment, productivity, and the future sustainability of the business. Generator service has to be high up on the agenda, and stay there, if you hope to make the purchase a cost-effective one, with long-lasting utility for the good of future marketplace agility and competitiveness.
PacB Group Leads the Field in Industrial Generator Service
As manufacturers of industrial generators for businesses in South Africa, including some of the best-known local companies, PacB Group takes a large amount of pride in the quality of its machines, and the service we provide. Call on us first for an honest appraisal of your generator service requirements, and we will work out a cost-effective schedule that spells long life and great utility for your machine.
When it comes to generator service – we lead the field in prompt service, affordable rates, and expert overall maintenance. With us in your corner, your generator can look forward to a long and productive life, and you can look forward to the future!
Our qualified technicians offer support and advice in the selection of the right power solution for your needs by calculating your power requirements.