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A new ‘lease’ on CPI life?

By Chemical Engineering |

While the worst of the recession may very well be over for the global economy in general, the downstream effects in the chemical process industries (CPI) will take awhile to flush themselves out. Second quarter financial reports were released last month, with most of the good news loosing luster in the shadow of the same period last year. Meanwhile, credit options remain tight. Based on these factors alone, the job of any chemical engineer who must justify capital expenditures is difficult at best. But, emerging flexibility in how the CPI pays for both equipment and services could change the way we look at equipment improvements, even beyond this particular downturn. The new approach is a twist on the familiar model of looking at so-called lifecycle costs or total costs of ownership. For years, vendors have used lifecycle cost analysis as a selling point for premium equipment and services, arguing that the initially higher up-front investment will save the customer money over the longterm. But at the bottom of a recession and the last half or quarter of a fiscal year, longterm thinking is often superseded by short-term constraints. Seeing the writing on the wall, a number of equipment and service providers in the software, automation…
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