If you had to make a list of some of the things that keep manufacturers up at night, equipment downtime would undoubtedly be right at the top.
One minute, you have a production line that is operating at peak efficiency – or at least as close to it as you can get. The next minute, a critical piece of machinery has gone offline and you have no idea when it’s coming back. Is it an issue with the operator? Were the settings correct? Do you need a part that you don’t necessarily have on-hand? These are questions that don’t have easy answers and every minute that machine is offline is a minute you’re losing money.
Thankfully, with a downtime tracking solution like Thrive, eliminating (or at least reducing) these types of issues is a relatively straightforward process. All you have to do is follow a few basic steps, and keep a number of important pointers in mind along the way.
Best Practices for Reducing Equipment Downtime
By far, one of the best ways to reduce equipment downtime is to categorize the reasons for any losses that you’re experiencing. In other words, you need to understand WHY your equipment is shutting down so that you can learn more about WHAT you need to do about it.
This is one of those areas where a downtime tracking solution like Thrive will come in handy. Not only will you be able to capture the length of all downtime events that you experience, but operators will also be able to categorize exactly why those events are happening. Over the long-term, this will help you uncover trends and patterns that likely would have gone undiscovered – all so that you can make whatever adjustments you need to stop them from happening again.
Along the same lines, another one of the best ways to reduce equipment downtime involves performing regular maintenance as often as you can. On the one hand, this may seem contradictory as maintenance always requires a particular machine to go offline.
But when you’re using a downtime tracking tool that also helps you regularly inspect the mission critical assets on your production floor, you also get access to insight that will help you identify when demand for those assets drops. In other words, you know both when it would be the least disruptive to perform maintenance and what you need to do in order to keep that asset running at peak efficiency.
Preventative maintenance is the perfect way to both stop small problems now before they have a chance to become bigger (and costlier) ones later, and to minimize equipment failure moving forward. Both of those factors save your business a tremendous amount of money, which is why this is one area you should always be paying attention to.
If you’re interested in learning about even more effective ways to reduce equipment downtime for your business, or if you’d just like to see what machine downtime and OEE tracking can do for you, please don’t hesitate to contact Thrive today.