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Cost of Maintenances vs. Cost of Downtime

centrifuge operator working on machinery

Posted by: Quenton Lind on August 3, 2020 at 10:15 AM

Equipment breakdowns can be a nightmare for production facilities. One machine down and the whole operation comes to a screeching halt. Without a moment’s notice, there’s a full crew without a moving line to work on. Supervisors and managers hurry to locate the source, troubleshoot the issue. Every minute of downtime equals dollars disappearing into thin air. 

What is the Cost of Downtime?

It’s easy to understand why facilities don’t want to pause operations in order to service and maintain equipment. Whether planned or not, the cost of downtime in manufacturing adds up. I mean, if the line isn’t moving, money isn’t being made, right? 

But there is a difference between planned downtime and unexpected downtime. 

Unexpected downtime, or emergency equipment failure, is something that shows up when you least expect it — and all too often on a Friday afternoon or in the middle of a holiday weekend. But whenever it happens, operations and maintenance managers have to show up and find a solution. And they have to do it fast. Tick. Tock. 

Preventative Maintenance Prevents Unexpected Downtime

The best way to prevent equipment failure is to provide it with regular maintenance. Heavy machinery does a lot of work, humming along for two or three shifts every day, sometimes running 24/7. How can anything work that long without needing some care?  

Equipment maintenance is preventative. It’s supposed to happen when there’s nothing noticeably wrong. Noticeable problems usually mean there’s an additional need for service. But routine maintenance? That’s the stuff that prevents larger issues from showing up. 

Weigh the Cost of Preventative Maintenance

How much does it cost your facility to pause production for a half day? Tens, maybe hundreds of thousands? Whatever it is, planned downtime will always cost less than unplanned. 

When a shutdown is planned, you can prevent a lot of loss by being proactive. Does your production crew need to sit for an educational or safety training twice a year? You could schedule your heavy equipment maintenance during that same time. 

Is there a particular season where production demand is lighter than the rest of the year? Plan your preventative maintenance then. 

You and I both know that if equipment is going to fail, it’s going to do it during the busiest time of the year, when margins are razor thin and the production floor feels like a pressure cooker. 

Prioritize Preventative Maintenance

If you’ve fallen into the habit of letting preventative equipment maintenance sit on the back burner, now is the perfect time to reconsider. There will always be a reason to put it off for another day, but that kind of system will only work for so long. The smart choice will always be preventative maintenance. 

Interested in learning more about preventative maintenance for centrifuge equipment? Download your copy of our service report.

Download The Service Report