What's the difference between downtime and breakdown time?

Breakdown time is downtime that results from the equipment breaking down. You’d start counting from the time the asset fails to the time you manage to get it up and running again.

Equipment downtime, on the other hand, is any amount of time in which a piece of equipment is offline. This includes planned downtime—like when you’re performing routine maintenance—and unplanned downtime, which results from equipment failure.

In terms of your operations, you’ll want to keep both of these down to a minimum, ideally around 2% or lower total.

Breakdown Time

The reasons you’d want to keep breakdown time to a minimum are fairly obvious. If your assets break down to often, it costs you hours in which you could be producing. If it takes you a long time to bring them back online, it exacerbates the problem. After all, every minute spent repairing a broken machine is a minute’s worth of production lost.

The end result is a loss of hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars as you fix broken equipment.

Equipment Downtime

Downtime is a more general term than breakdown time since it includes both unplanned equipment failures as well as planned times when the asset is intentionally taken offline.

As with breakdown time, you want to make sure you keep downtime in general as low as possible, but it’s important not to do so at the expense of your equipment’s health. Some planned downtime is necessary to perform preventive maintenance tasks, such as lubrication, routine tune-ups, and recalibration.

Keeping Downtimes Low

Without a little bit of planned downtime, your unplanned breakdown time will likely increase. If a significant portion of your downtime is from breakdowns, you’ll want to look at improving your preventive maintenance.

This doesn’t necessarily mean scheduling more planned work. Just because you’re planning more PMs doesn’t mean you’ll reduce downtimes automatically. It needs to be targeted at the specific problems causing your equipment to fail.

Predictive maintenance is a great way to do this since it allows you to target specific issues rather than rely on rote schedules. In fact, PdM can cut downtime as much as 75%.

Barring PdM, you’ll need to analyze your data to make find out what’s going on with your equipment. A CMMS can help you do that efficiently and plan PM tasks accordingly.

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