How to Calculate Machine Downtime?

machine that is out of order - in downtime

Production lines are, in their essence, delicate clockworks. To work, all the equipment and its parts need to function flawlessly.

If anything throws a wrench into the works (literally or figuratively), the whole system fails. And, we probably don’t have to tell you this, that’s not something you want.

According to research, an hour of machine downtime costs a company on average $260,000. That’s not to mention the lost time and staff productivity, besides the revenue hit.

But if reducing machine downtime is the objective, you first need to learn how to calculate machine downtime. And that’s what we’ll explore in this article.

What is Machine Downtime?

Before we do anything else, let’s define machine downtime. Machine downtime is any (usually unexpected) time during which an asset/piece of equipment is not running.

There are 2 types of machine downtime:

1. Unplanned downtime – undesirable, typically a result of malfunction

2. Scheduled downtime – necessary, used for repair and maintenance

We’ll mostly focus on unplanned downtime in this article but keep scheduled downtime in mind for when we’re discussing solutions to our production problems.

How to Calculate Machine Downtime

If you want to minimize machine downtime, it’s vital you know what your downtime is. This information will also help you decide which assets/pieces of your equipment are most prone to failure and which are most important for your production.

en equation of how to calculate machine downtime

To calculate machine downtime:

1. Identify your planned operating time for a set period.
Ex. Production should be running 8 hours a day for 20 days a month = 160 hours per month.

2. Record the amount of downtime for the month or consult a report from the previous month if you have one.

3. Subtract downtime from your planned operating time. This will tell you your actual/true operating time.

4. Typically, we talk about downtime in percentages. To get that result, use this equation:

Time equipment is down/Planned operating time * 100 = Downtime %

Remember, you can track downtime for individual assets as well. You can determine which parts of your production line break the most by comparing the metrics for different kinds of equipment.

This will be extra handy for scheduling maintenance. You can also learn more about tracking and determining overall equipment effectiveness.

To calculate lost revenue and asset criticality:

1. Divide your total revenue by the planned operating time to get your daily revenue.

2. Assess by how much your daily revenue goes down if the chosen piece of equipment stops working for 1 hour.

3. Compare the results of different assets. The one whose malfunction causes the biggest drop in revenue is the most critical part of your operation.

Now that you know which assets break the most and which equipment failures cost you the most, you can start taking steps to improve the situation.

How to Minimize Machine Downtime

Unfortunately, there is no guide on how to prevent machine downtime completely because it doesn’t exist. But you can prevent a significant loss in revenue and minimize machine downtime if you take advantage of scheduled downtime.

Firstly, you should make sure to always track the condition of your assets. Luckily, there are that will save you the headache of doing it manually. Often there are signs of trouble before a big malfunction, and tracking equipment status can help you prevent a catastrophe.

But if you’re looking for a quick, simple, and importantly, free solution to the question of asset tracking — look no further than our Preventative Maintenance Checklist. It’s fully digital, can be used by anyone, and will help you save money.

checklist icon

Preventative Maintenance Checklist

Download a free Preventive Maintenance template to inspect the state of the equipment or machinery

When you know trouble’s on the way, you can prevent it. That’s where scheduled downtime and preventative maintenance come in.

As we’ve already pointed out in a previous blog on the importance of equipment maintenance, this kind of maintenance is for when there’s been no trouble yet, and you want to keep it that way.

Its benefit is that you can plan it around the times when your production is slow anyway, for whatever reason. That limits the negative impact downtime can have on your revenue, production time, and employee productivity.

Make an advantage of scheduled downtime to prevent more serious machine breakdowns

However, these time frames are unique to each company. So, to get the most out of your preventative downtime, use your knowledge of your company’s processes and your best judgment when scheduling.

And don’t forget to prioritize the most important equipment for your overall revenue and production. While an asset breaking frequently can be a hassle, if it’s something like a single light fixture or elevator, it’s probably not worth planning maintenance for.

And there you have it — everything you need to know about calculating and minimizing machine downtime. Remember, prevention is half the battle. So prepare for the worst and achieve the best results with Preventative Maintenance Checklist!

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