Neglecting This Function Can Cost Your Business $125K an Hour 

Unplanned downtime is the scourge of manufacturing. So, why do so many industrial businesses “run to fail?” ask the authors of ABB Survey Reveals Unplanned Downtime Costs $125,000 Per Hour, published in

The new study finds that one in five (21%) of heavy-industry companies haven’t implemented proactive or predictive maintenance, increasing equipment failure risks. They’re putting a lot at stake, as unplanned outages cost these companies an average of $125K an hour and harm the customer experience. And these outages occur regularly:

“There’s no typical length for an outage but consider one that lasts a working day of eight hours – based on the median hourly rate, it would cost a business one million dollars,” said Virve Viitanen, Head of Global Customer Care and Support at ABB’s Motion Services division.

“With this in mind, industrial businesses should aim to progress from a high-risk run-to-fail maintenance approach to a long-term outcome-based strategy. This will improve reliability, business reputation, competitiveness, cut costs and provide peace of mind – empowering businesses to focus on their core competence,” Viitanen continues.

Improving Equipment Reliability Is a Top Manufacturing Priority

The good news is that decision-makers understand the importance of improving equipment reliability and maintenance processes. Nearly two in three (60%) plan to boost spending on reliability and maintenance over the next three years, with one in three planning to increase investments by 10%.

Manufacturers that deploy QAD Redzone reduce unplanned outages and achieve an overall equipment effectiveness uplift of an average of 14 points. Here’s how they do it.

  • Provide data that shows the new normal: QAD Redzone software and coaches help production teams benchmark what normal conditions should look like on a key focus line, making it easier to detect anomalies.
  • Enlist operators in reporting issues: Operators can use the QAD Redzone app to capture video and audio of the issue, enabling faster diagnoses and avoiding situations where problems don’t repeat when maintenance technicians arrive.

    “Previously, when the operators put in a work order for maintenance to fix a problem, it often wouldn’t occur when the maintenance technician showed up. So, now operators can capture exactly what they’re seeing so that the technicians know where to focus their efforts,” says Chandra DeGood, West Packaging Facility Supervisor at Haviland Enterprises, Inc.
  • Elevating routine and proactive maintenance: QAD Redzone produces equipment health reports that enable production and maintenance teams to review reliability items that can indicate future trouble, such as five senses findings, service requests, and clean/inspect/lubrication findings.

    Taffy Town, named Plant of the Year at the QAD Redzone Community Awards 2023, has completed 775 total maintenance activities, decreasing closeout time from an average of 16 days down to two.
  • Sharing maintenance responsibilities: When teams deploy the QAD Redzone Reliability module, production teams learn how to take on maintenance responsibilities. One operator per shift becomes a “doctor,” performing routine maintenance that improves equipment uptime.

Linking Production and Maintenance to Improve Equipment Uptime

Companion Baking Co., a leading bread producer located in St. Louis, Missouri, used to run a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) to manage all work orders for equipment maintenance. While bakers could submit requests, few did because the software was too complicated.

Then, one of the company’s large mixers broke, costing it 20,000 lost pounds of dough that could have been converted into products and sold.

“It was a lot for us to lose,” says Suman Shekar, Operations Manager. “Very quickly, we realized we could have prevented the breakdown. Our bakers told us they heard a funny noise, but this information didn’t reach the maintenance crew.”

As a result, Companion Baking deployed the QAD Redzone Reliability module to improve equipment maintenance and uptime.

With QAD Redzone, production teams can take a photo or video of a concerning equipment condition and automatically route it to maintenance for review. The reliability coordinator receives all of those “symptoms,” reviews them throughout the day, and sends items to the maintenance team to approve or deny requests.

“Our bakers put in new issues they see, and we check them every single day. If they notice something that’s a little loose, we can fix it and prevent a catastrophic event, like the large mixer that went down,” said Ms. Shekar. “We have avoided many of those mistakes because everyone is picking up their iPads and recording videos.”

Equipment downtime can be costly, costing lost revenues and customer attrition.

Fix problems proactively with QAD Redzone

2023 Productivity Benchmark Report

1,000 Factories’ Productivity Data: The Largest Dataset of Its Kind ...

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