Is Unplanned Downtime Eating Away at Your Profits?

Do you know what downtime at your facility costs you every year?

A frequently cited statistic is that downtime eats up about 5% of a plant’s productivity. As big as that number sounds, the real statistic is likely higher — studies have shown that most plants grossly underestimate their downtime losses.

Downtime can be split into two categories:

  • Planned downtime. Most plants schedule short outages every year for maintenance and repair work. This downtime is predictable and, if everything goes as planned, shouldn’t have an unexpected impact on the bottom line. Learn more about how to plan and prepare for your next plant outage.
  • Unplanned downtime. This is the real profit-killer. Unplanned downtime is when you have to shut everything down because something goes wrong — for example, a machine stops working.

Unplanned downtime can result in enormous consequences for your facility — as big as turning a year in the black to a year in the red. In some plants, downtime can result in losses of as much as $1 million per day.

Here are some of the ways unplanned downtime can cost you big time:

  • Lost production. This is the obvious one. If your production line isn’t running, you can’t produce anything.
  • Emergency repair costs. Understandably, you’ll want to get your line up and running as quickly as possible. Because emergency repairs require technicians to come in at a moment’s notice, they often cost more than regularly scheduled maintenance and repair. This category might also include parts costs as well as costs related to expediting the shipping of the parts.
  • Other labor costs. While your lines are down, your operators aren’t running them. But you’re still paying those operators their hourly wage. You’re probably also paying several downstream employees for time not spent doing their primary job functions.
  • Startup costs. It takes energy, time, and manpower to restart a production line. All of these things cost money.
  • Raw material waste. You may lose materials during both the shutdown and the following startup.
  • Product loss due to poor quality. Processes don’t usually just quit all of a sudden. There are usually problems before the downtime resulting in product that doesn’t meet your quality threshold.
  • Missed deadlines. Maybe you miss a customer deadline. Maybe you can’t get your product to freight on time. In either case, you may find yourself paying to fix the situation.
  • Customer dissatisfaction. If your customers receive poor quality products, or receive them late, they won’t be happy. And they aren’t happy, they won’t be repeat customers.

Even the best-laid plans can go wrong, and you probably won’t be able to eliminate 100% of your unplanned downtime. However, it’s a beast that can be tamed!

By taking care of your plant and your equipment, you can significantly reduce your unplanned downtime — and all of its associated costs. That includes taking care of your valves.

Contact us to learn more about our valve diagnostics and preventative maintenance programs. They can save you the time, money, and stress associated with unplanned outages.

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