The state of manufacturing in the US: top industries, employers, and cities
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Downtime in manufacturing can sabotage a business or prevent further crises. Read on to learn all about the pros and cons of downtime.
Downtime in manufacturing can be a serious issue. It can be damaging to a business’ reputation, efficiency, and bottom line.
If left unchecked, downtime can cause serious issues such as compromised staff safety, loss of business, or even data breaches.
Downtime can be triggered by equipment failures, material issues, or even a shortage of operators — all of which means that scheduled production must halt.
While production downtime can happen for many reasons, the key is identifying these causes and implementing systems to prevent them from happening again. Interestingly, planned downtime can help to reduce the risk of unplanned downtime and should be a core part of any manufacturing company’s strategy.
In this article, you’ll find out some of the common causes of unplanned downtime, how to calculate the cost of downtime in manufacturing, and ultimately, how to reduce downtime in manufacturing.
Downtime in manufacturing is exactly what it sounds like – when a company’s manufacturing process stops. Downtime in manufacturing can be planned and thus beneficial, so on the flip side, unplanned downtime is considered unnecessary and disruptive.
Some people use the term machine downtime simply when a piece of equipment, machine, or entire manufacturing system is not functioning. This may refer to a planned or unplanned stop.
As we have already mentioned, there are two types of manufacturing downtime:
It is important to look at the causes of downtime to recognize disruptive patterns, prevent them, and improve manufacturing processes as a whole. Some of the causes of downtime in production might be:
Suppose you can review these factors and develop a clear understanding of what is causing the greatest delays to your manufacturing process. In that case, you can put new systems in place to make it operate more efficiently.
Downtime in manufacturing is taken incredibly seriously. There is an equation to help you calculate exactly how much it is costing you:
Time equipment is down/Planned operating time * 100 = Downtime %
Broken down, this is how you calculate the equation:
It will come as no surprise that production downtime is one of the biggest problems faced by manufacturers and is an issue that is being tackled on a daily basis. Keeping well-informed of your manufacturing systems, operating in a lean way, and tracking inventory and production processes are all ways in which downtime in production can be minimized. Centralizing bookkeeping and manufacturing processes using software like Katana can make a real difference.
If we move away from the mathematical equation, some of the tangible costs of downtime in manufacturing are as follows:
Understandably though, the greatest cost of production downtime cited by manufacturing companies is literally their financial losses.
According to a report from Deloitte, pre-Covid unplanned downtime cost industrial manufacturers approximately $50 billion each year, with an average manufacturer experiencing an estimated 800 hours of equipment downtime annually, more than 15 hours per week.
Further to this, data from Analyst firm Aberdeen Research, showed that unplanned downtime in manufacturing can cost a company as much as $260,000 an hour. Interestingly, the same study also found that unplanned downtime is one of the causes of renewed investment in digital transformation.
Planned downtime in manufacturing is when a company physically shuts down the machines. This can be for any number of reasons, such as repairing them, maintaining parts, testing certain areas, or upgrading/replacing certain assets. Sometimes this planned downtime is ad-hoc and may be scheduled on a particular timeframe. For example, weekly, or maybe after every 100 hours of operation.
Some of the benefits of being proactive with planned downtime are:
As well as scheduling regularly planned downtime, there are several other things that a manufacturing company can do to reduce unplanned downtime in manufacturing.
Downtime could ruin the productivity of your manufacturing operations. Reduce the risk of it by minimizing waste, looking after your components, and having full digital visibility of your manufacturing processes.