The Monitor

Production Process Insights

5 Hidden Costs of Analyzing Non-Representative Samples

Posted by Jay Kristola on 8/31/16 1:39 PM
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Multiple industries engage representative sampling. It’s a pivotal process for quality control, process control, custody transfer and regulatory compliance. The benefits of representative sampling are well known, but what is the cost of not doing so? 

The adverse impact of not implementing representative sampling is felt in the following five ways:

1. Public safety

From contamination to public endangerment, safety is priority number one for many industries.

Contamination of product is often the safety focus for food, beverage and pharmaceutical industries due to potential public illness and fatalities. But this is also a real concern for other heavy industries such as Hydrocarbon Processing. Industrial air pollutants and highly toxic chemicals, such as Hydrofluoric acid, also pose real threats to the public.

Beyond contamination, there’s the issue of not being able to provide critical public services. Say, for example, the water chemistry in a power plant is imbalanced and leads to the turbine or boiler exploding or some other plant malfunction. This expensive mistake leads to mass power outages and public endangerment on top of millions of dollars in plant repair or replacement.

2. Quality

Poor quality product is particularly troublesome because it results in extensive materials waste, lost production time and potentially very expensive recalls and/or after-market repairs. Along with monetary downsides, the business and public relations cost to the brand is monumental and may never be repaired, even if the quality deficiency is corrected.

3. Production

Process control is critical, particularly as it relates to time management. Being reactive to unscheduled downtime and repair instead of proactively scheduling maintenance to address wear-out is inefficient and costly. By planning for this downtime, organizations minimize risk to their equipment and bottom line. 

4. Compliance

Failing to comply with federal and state regulations puts your organization at odds with fundamental industry standards. This poor practice can lead your products to be at odds with the environment, as in the case of non-regulated emissions and land reclamation, or with safe practices for food and beverage production if ingredients or production are non-compliant. Even worse, it can lead to hefty fines and/or loss of business. 

5. Trade 

Some trade practices are based on bulk weight and precise measurement of substances. For example, ignoring or not knowing the exact oil-water mix could result in unfairly paying oil prices for water, excessive interoceanic freight charges for tanker weight, and added expense at your plant for extracting water from the crude oil.


As representative sampling experts, the Sentry brand of technology and products help you avoid these hidden costs. Our sampling solutions extract samples while your process is running – meaning you get a true picture of what’s happening from beginning to end at all times, and can confidently manage public safety, quality control, process control, custody transfer and regulatory compliance.

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Written by Jay Kristola

Serving as Sentry Equipment Chief Technology Officer, Kristola is a mechanical engineer and registered professional engineer with certification in operations management. He is a holder of several patents, is experienced in functions spanning all facets of our manufacturing operations environment, and is authoritative in all products and solutions our company provides. His 30-plus years of experience in engineering, operations, and quality management drive his commitment to providing Sentry customers with creative, technologically advanced, robust and reliable sampling, monitoring and measuring solutions.

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