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What is Equipment Downtime?

Published On March 11, 2022     |     5 Min Read

What is Equipment Downtime

Downtime means a duration during which an Asset is unavailable for utilization. Unplanned Downtime badly affects industries operationally, socially and financially. In this blog, we would give an overview of what is downtime, what causes it and the strategies by which we can combat it.

Classification of  downtime?

Downtime can be of 2 broad types:

  • Planned downtime-When the downtime is constructive and intentional. It happens in the cases when we switch off equipment for routine maintenance. 
  • Unplanned downtime– It occurs when unforeseen circumstances arrive. Sudden or emergency breakdowns of equipment causes unplanned downtime.

In manufacturing industries, manufacturers have had a tough time dealing with equipment downtime since the beginning. This results in negative impact on generation of revenue, disrupts relationships with partners as the downtimes pose an obstruction in workflow. MTTR and MTBF are important metrics that helps to track downtime and to estimate how effective an already performed maintenance work is. 

In IT sectors downtime refers to the time tenure during which an IT system is not operational or is in offline mode. Surveys say that the average cost of a network downtime is about $300k in an hour. Servers can be unavailable when you shut down systems for maintenance and upgrading software, at times of equipment breakdowns and also due to external factors like cyber security attacks and interrupted power supply. 

You can calculate system availability by dividing uptime by the sum of uptime and downtime.

Major causes leading to equipment downtime

To combat the issue of equipment downtime you must first deeply understand its root causes which are as follows:

  • Operator errors- Improper operation is one of the major causes of equipment breakdowns. If technicians are not trained properly, they would use assets improperly. While handling emergency and deadline conditions, operators often mismanage equipment. 
  • Lack of preventive maintenance- Preventive maintenance is often ignored when there is shortage of staff, huge workload to handle and machines are running fine. Since the early signs of equipment downtime are unnoticeable you must perform routine preventive maintenance. According to U.S. Department of Energy, preventive maintenance can be beneficial in the following ways:
    • Malfunctions reduce by 35-45%
    • 30% maintenance cost reduces
    • Uptime increases by 75%
  • Performing too much maintenance- Doing so can result in the following:
    • Increases maintenance cost
    • Damages your equipment
    • Too much inventory is used
    • Wastes valuable time of the maintenance technicians

4 Ways you can reduce planned and unplanned downtimes

You can rectify and shorten unplanned downtime in the ways:

  • Give primary focus on preventive maintenance– Bring the problematic equipment on the right track by developing preventive maintenance plans
  • For critical operations backup your equipment– Analysing cases of past downtime helps to determine the operations which are susceptible to downtime problems
  • Use fault-tolerant machines– These are easier to maintain and give maintenance staff more time to react
  • Go for autonomous maintenance– It benefits in the following 3 ways:
    • Having accountability of operators using the equipment 
    • Equipment issues are spotted early
    • Maintenance staff can concentrate more on complicated maintenance work

You can reduce planned downtime by:

Follow standard maintenance protocols and give appropriate training to technicians – Following Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) reduces contrast in performance of different staff performing the same task. Strong training, workshops and on boarding programs are required for maintenance staff.

How can you use DreamzCMMS for organising scheduled downtime?

DreamzCMMS can efficiently collect data of maintenance and of process automation. You can use DreamzCMMS to schedule preventive tasks while considering the workload of account technicians, availability of spare parts and tools and also the chances of conflict with schedules of production. You would also be able to create and store maintenance checklists using DreamzCMMS. DreamzCMMS along with access to equipment maintenance logs, troubleshooting guidelines, maintenance manuals and safety checklists, enables the  maintenance technicians to speed up their tasks ensuring business continuity. 

Use a centralized digital maintenance platform like DreamzCMMS to stay organized and manage downtime of equipment. 


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