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Equipment Downtime

No one notices when your assets are in good working order. When assets go down, though, all eyes are on you to get everything back up and running. You lose money and time, not to mention the productivity of your employees.
According to the Aberdeen research firm, downtime costs businesses on average $260,000 per hour.
That's why it's critical to understand how to track, quantify, and eliminate unexpected downtime.

Equipment Downtime

What is equipment downtime?

 Equipment downtime refers to the period when equipment is not in use, whether due to an unforeseen equipment failure (such as a defect or damaged part) or scheduled downtime (like necessary downtime for preventive maintenance). This word usually refers to unplanned downtime that occurs when a production process comes to a halt.

World Class Standards For Downtime

Aim for unscheduled downtime to be 10% or less.

 What is planned downtime?

When you intend to pull your equipment offline for inspection or repair, this is known as planned downtime. Every item you possess will require maintenance at some point, and scheduling the work ahead of time for your more essential assets can help them last longer.

Preventive maintenance is the most effective approach to maintain your more sophisticated assets, and planned downtime is an important element of that strategy. Your enterprise asset management (EAM) software can predict when equipment will need repair as part of a preventative maintenance strategy based on usage time, equipment condition, or any other criteria you designate.

One of the most appealing aspects of planned downtime is that it may be scheduled at your leisure. If there is a slower period of the month or year, or if other assets in the system must go offline for whatever reason, you may schedule the downtime when it will have the least impact on your production.

The primary aim of scheduled downtime is to predict and prevent far more costly unforeseen breakdowns that may have a considerably greater impact on your business.

How to calculate equipment downtime

Because this word may refer to any incident that causes a manufacturing halt, it's critical for a company to first choose what sort of downtime they want to account for. Let's assume manufacturing is experiencing a number of machine failures. They've figured out that this is the majority of their downtime, therefore it's the most crucial type of downtime to measure.

Examining the loss of income during downtime periods is one approach to evaluate the cost of equipment downtime. We may accomplish this by comparing the number of items created in a certain time period (per hour) to the amount of money generated by each product. Then we compare these figures to the amount of downtime that has happened.

If we manufacture 10 units each hour at a profit of $50.00 per unit, each hour is worth $500, according to this calculation. If there are four hours of downtime, we will have lost $2,000.00 in just four hours.

Consider how much worse these revenue losses maybe if the outage is longer or the product is more profitable. It's simple to understand why this is so critical to hunt down and correct as soon as possible.

How to reduce equipment downtime and increase productivity

Let's look at some methods to cut down on your equipment downtime now that you know how to determine how much it costs you. This will involve using failure codes to determine the source of downtime and lowering the time it takes to fix in the meanwhile to decrease, if not eliminate, downtime.

1.Failure codes

Failure codes should be the first item you use on your work orders. These are the codes that explain why the asset failed in the first place. These can include a variety of items, but they should at the very least have the following options:

  • User Error (also known as Abuse) The failure occurred as a result of someone misusing the asset.
  • Failure to Perform PM - If Preventive Maintenance had been conducted, the failure could have been avoided.
  • Failure to Inspect - An examination would have avoided or reduced the breakdown, i.e. there were indicators of impending failure that were not noticed.
  • Cultural Failure - Policies or procedures that may have averted the failure were not followed.
The most essential item to look at when looking at a failure code is the reason for the failure. When you have failure codes, you can focus on what needs to be fixed to avoid further breakdowns and failures.

If you're finding that a lot of your machine downtime is due to a User Error failure code, it might be time to invest in some training to cut down on those mistakes.

If your downtime is coming from failure to perform PM failure codes, then policies focusing on PM completion will help reduce the equipment downtime. In each case, the failure code will help you know what needs to improve to reduce your downtime.

2.Mean time to repair

The second method to decrease downtime is to discover strategies to make asset maintenance or mean time to repair take less time (MTTR). Keep in mind that this does not include time spent on repairs. Look for methods to decrease the following to lower your MTTR:
  • Time to Assignment - After being alerted that a work order is down, how long does it take you on average to assign it to an employee? What can you do to cut down on that time?
  • Time to Diagnosis - In the event that it is unclear what caused the asset to fail, how long does it take you on average to conduct an inspection to determine what went wrong? What can you do to cut down on that time?
  • It's time to get some parts  do you have them in your inventory? How long will it take to locate and recover them? If not, how long will it take for that inventory to become available?
  • Time to repair the asset Once an employee arrives to make the repair, how long, on average, do they spend repairing the asset?
  • Asset Cooldown Time  Some Assets require time to cool down before they can be worked on. How much time is spent in cooldown? While this isn’t necessarily a time you can reduce, it should still be accounted for.
  • Time testing and restarting  Once repairs have been done, how much time does it take to get the asset restarted, calibrated, tested, and back in operation? Are there ways to shorten that process without compromising the asset?
While certain time costs cannot be avoided, many human time costs may be minimized via improved efficiency, collaboration, and the application of asset management best practices.

  3.Cut costs 

It's time to start thinking about how to decrease downtime when you've recorded equipment downtime with a CMMS and determined the average losses caused by this downtime. After all, downtime data is highly important not just for calculating profit loss, but also for prioritizing maintenance and allocating resources appropriately.

A facility can cut costs by:
  • Spending on an advanced maintenance management system that can track a wide range of fields (maintenance shift, location of issues, downtime reasons, accurate downtime tracking).
  • Maintenance schedules with high schedule compliance that are adequately recorded and well-documented.
  • Incorporating and maintaining condition-based maintenance sensors
  • Assuring that maintenance practices are documented in order to minimize downtime.
  • Backing up key systems that might be lost due to a malfunction (e.g. PLC systems).
A facility's maintenance culture can also play a role in reducing equipment downtime, according to a new study. Maintenance documentation and sensor installation are only part of the equation.

Tracking equipment downtime

When it comes to asset management, downtime is inevitable, but you must be able to track it effectively or you will end up bouncing from failure to failure, wasting money. Using an EAM solution to track your downtime can show you exactly where you're losing money so you can make adjustments.

Every asset is unique and will necessitate unique maintenance strategies, but downtime will occur with any asset you own. Tracking it effectively allows you to better prepare for planned downtime and identifies areas where your maintenance strategies can be tweaked to improve downtime efficiency.
By keeping track of your downtime, you can better focus your wrench time. Getting ahead of your reactive maintenance operations allows your personnel to focus on more efficient and cost-effective preventative maintenance.

Tracking downtime improves asset dependability as well. For example, taking an asset offline for 30 minutes once a quarter to lubricate a fan is much less expensive than losing an entire day or more of production and having to buy a new fan if the machine fails.

Most maintenance managers are concerned with either lowering maintenance costs or increasing output in order to enhance profitability. Tracking the downtime of your equipment is a good method to do both at the same time.

Benefits of tracking equipment downtime

Tracking equipment downtime, as we've already established, offers a healthy picture of a facility's production and manufacturing environment. Tracking and repairing downtime can provide the following benefits:
  1. This will allow for more time to be spent on PM/PdM schedules as a result of fewer unexpected downtime occurrences.
  2. An intimate look at replacement and repair objectives for management
  3. Execution with greater accuracy of maintenance duties
  4. Maximizes profits, while minimizing expenses (especially on replacement equipment in emergency cases)
  5. (owing to an efficient  implementation of PM/PdM plans) Higher machine availability, efficiency, and dependability

The golden rule of downtime

There is one golden guideline that can help you save money and time when it comes to equipment downtime: Measure first, then inquire as to why. When you know where your company is today (measure) and why that number exists (ask why), you can take the measures necessary to improve your downtime.

This is something that Manager Plus "EAM software" can readily assist you with. Using records, meters, inspections, and work orders, we can measure any element of your assets. Then we let you assign service codes and failure codes, as well as make notes, so you can understand why your performance is as it is. All of this will be displayed in Bi (Business Intelligence) dashboards and reports. We've made genuine progress possible.

If this sounds like the kind of change you want to see in your company, give us a call and we'll show you how Manager Plus maintenance management system can help you take control of your asset's lifespan. Maintenance management software may be used for more than just equipment management; it can also be used for fleet maintenance, work order management, inventory management, and other tasks.

If you currently use Manager Plus, we'd be happy to give training so you can get the most out of it. We look forward to assisting you in your endeavors!


For a variety of reasons, keeping track of equipment downtime is essential. For maintenance and production activities, knowing how long a facility has been operational in the past is helpful. High downtime may indicate that preventative maintenance isn't being done properly or that production has been set up incorrectly, for example. A low maintenance downtime figure, on the other hand, might be indicative of a generally healthy production environment.

Even more detailed data may be obtained by tracking equipment downtime on a per-area basis Downtime in the final assembly part of a manufacturing line, on the other hand, is an indication that changes are needed. It becomes a means to gauge the health of an organization's output as a whole by measuring downtime. However, even though it may appear expensive to track downtime with a computerized maintenance management system, understanding where faults reside and removing them may save a lot of money.

This means that the facility's equipment should be functioning at 90 percent availability or above.