The Real Cost of Downtime

The Real Cost of Downtime

Downtime, or any period of time when a machine is not in production, is the largest source of lost production time for most manufacturers. As obvious as downtime is when it occurs, most companies seriously underestimate their true downtime costs—in fact, over 80% of companies aren’t able to accurately calculate those costs. 

Types of Downtime

Something important to note is that not all downtime is created equally. Most manufacturers can agree that the worst kind is unplanned downtime, which typically occurs as a result of some kind of failure, waiting on the materials needed, etc. Some of the most common categories of unplanned downtime include excessive tool changeover, excessive job changeover, lack of operator, and unplanned machine maintenance. 

The main problem with downtime? It’s in the name—there’s no value being produced during that time, but the cost of overhead doesn’t stop growing. This can significantly affect your company’s bottom line, which is something you always want to protect. 

The Numbers Behind the Problem

According to Aberdeen Research, 82% of companies have experienced unplanned downtime over the past three years. The kind of downtime these companies experienced cost as much as $260,000 per hour. So why aren’t companies doing more to eliminate downtime? The answer goes back to companies not being able, or not being aware of what it’s actually costing them. 

Aberdeen Research also found that more than 70% of their participants weren’t fully aware that their equipment was due for maintenance, upgrade, or replacement. What we can gather from this information is that, even with the knowledge of how costly unplanned downtime is, the most common approaches used by most manufacturers aren’t effective in reducing it. 

Why settle for what everyone else is doing, if research tells us it isn’t effective? It’s time to work a little harder so efficiency comes easily. That means revisiting old, ineffective policies and reworking them to avoid unproductive stretches of time. It also means keeping better track of machinery, because it’s a lot easier to maintain a machine than it is to completely replace or repair one. Thinking preemptively is one of the best ways to ensure your facility isn’t just another statistic. 

Contact ProcessBarron today to start working toward a more efficient future.