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How to Reduce Machine Downtime in Industrial Settings

Alexander Hill of Senseye, an AI-driven predictive maintenance software, said it well when he said “unplanned downtime is the curse of the industrial sector.”

When you dig into the financial consequences of industrial downtime, it’s easy to see why the need to reduce machine downtime is so critical.

The Financial Impact of Machine Downtime

In their 2022 True Cost of Downtime report, Senseye found that automotive manufacturers endured an average of 29 unplanned downtime hours per facility each month, with each hour of downtime costing $1,343,400. The heavy-industrial field, meanwhile, had an estimated 23 hours of downtime per month, with each hour of downtime coming out to $187,500.

While numbers may vary between manufacturing sectors, the overall message is clear: unplanned downtime can turn machines that normally help drive profit into a money pit.

When looking at downtime as a percentage of revenue, the financial cost of unplanned machine downtime was 20% for the automotive sector and 18% for the heavy-industrial field.

Running Routine Risk Audits to Reduce Machine Downtime

With numerous facilities and production lines in motion, it’s not always evident that a piece of manufacturing equipment has become obsolete — until it’s too late, that is. By having a third-party provider perform a risk audit on a routine basis, manufacturers can pinpoint if it’s time to retire certain pieces of equipment and upgrade to newer versions.

While older machines may be more susceptible to failure that could lead to downtime, risk auditors will be thinking about the length of that downtime as well. Repairs on older machines tend to be more involved from a labor standpoint, adding time to the clock and expenses to the business. And if spare parts are needed to correct the issue, the risk auditor may find that the parts are difficult to obtain in a timely fashion or the system is no longer supported by the manufacturer and the parts are unavailable.

As a whole, the insights from these risk audits help reduce costly downtime events that are tethered to obsolete equipment that weigh down business operations.

Proactive Maintenance to Reduce Machine Downtime

It was once the case that maintenance was a matter of fixing what was broken. While this mindset has shifted in many respects, the financial implications of a manufacturing machine failure have placed even more pressure on the need for a proactive approach to maintenance.

In modern manufacturing operations, you’ll often hear the term predictive maintenance. Through the use of sensor devices, businesses can monitor the real-time conditions of the equipment and leverage that data in the context of equipment insights and patterns to predict when failure will occur. Having this intel allows manufacturers to get in front of machine equipment failures, saving the cost of unplanned downtime while extending the lifetime of the mission-critical machine.

Going a step beyond proactive but pre-defined schedules, predictive maintenance programs are estimated to drive 8%-12% greater cost savings compared to a preventive maintenance program.

Reliable, Durable Products to Reduce Machine Downtime

Comprehensive maintenance — both manual and automated — is a critical element of reducing downtime in manufacturing. But it’s just as important to look at the products used within the industrial machines that power these manufacturing processes.

Consider the connectors in a factory automation system. If connectors are not built with the quality to enable reliable connections, the system will fail and production lines will come to a stop. By that same token, if a connector has to be replaced in the system, long lead times to receive the new parts can mean even more bad news for your bottom line. 

At Amerline, we’re proud to offer robust circular connector solutions that are delivered fast, at a cost-effective price. Part of what helps us price our connectors better and get them to you faster is the value-added services we provide. In an industrial environment where downtime is not an option, we offer in-house overmolding capabilities alongside inventory stocking programs so you get the quality parts you need with fewer delays.

Interested in our circular connector solutions? Tell us about your needs and we’ll be in touch.

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