Breaking Down the Cost of Poor Asset Fitness for Manufacturers

Asset fitness and asset performance management are crucial to staying efficient and profitable.

There is a lot of information out there about the importance of equipment condition monitoring. Yet, it’s still just a handful of companies who really manage to excel in these area. Many manufacturers continue to lag behind. Why is this? 

Well, one likely reason is that managers at all levels still don’t quite grasp how much they currently lose to inefficiency and unplanned downtime. Nor do they understand, or even trust, how much they stand to gain from improved equipment condition monitoring. 

The True Cost of Poor Asset Fitness & Unplanned Downtime 

No one needs to be convinced that unplanned downtime is a bad thing. It’s just easy to overlook just how costly it truly is. Unplanned downtime creates a domino effect of inefficiency, poor asset health and lost revenue. 

Here are just a few of the ways it impacts a company’s bottom line: 

  • Lost Revenue

This is the most obvious and widely acknowledged outcome of unplanned downtime. When production grinds to a halt because a machine has unexpectedly stopped functioning, fewer units are produced. That then means there are fewer units to sell.

  • Missed production targets

There are plenty of costs associated with missed production targets. The major one is the loss of clients. They may seek out other manufacturers who can deliver more reliably and on-time. Then there are flow-on effects; damage to reputation and increase in labour cost to fulfil late orders via overtime to name a couple.

  • Expensive and ongoing repair

Ever hear the expression ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’? In manufacturing, it’s a case of ‘a penny of prevention is worth a pound of repair’.  Quick ‘band-aid’ fixes are often used to get things going again, which leads to more repair work being needed down the road. A solid preventive maintenance schedule pays for itself many times over by avoiding unplanned downtimes in the first place and the ensuing associated costs. 

Equipment Condition Monitoring is Simple, Easy, and Saves Money

Many manufacturing companies see maintenance as a kind of necessary evil. So the thought of doing maintenance before it’s even required seems cumbersome and costly at worst and a needless ‘frill’ at best. The truth is, however, that preventive maintenance in the form of equipment condition monitoring is simple to implement and offers a great many benefits. FitMachine, for instance, can be attached in seconds and takes on the burden of monitoring equipment – sending live data to MachineCloud.

There, maintenance teams can access information at a glance or drill into the details to make the most informed work schedules. Plus, by utilising an IIoT device, teams benefit from added layers of machine learning and artificial intelligence. This enables proactive identification of abnormal behaviour and shifts worker efforts towards critical work, not redundant inspections.

The key operational benefits of condition monitoring:

  • Abnormal behaviour is caught early;
  • Unplanned downtime is prevented;
  • Disruptions in production are minimised or eliminated; and
  • The need for costly last-minute repair work is minimised or eliminated.

Key Takeaways

For multiple reasons unplanned downtime , and increase uptime should be a top priority for manufacturers. There are many ways to tackle the issues and we recommend implementing them in parallel. From addressing bad maintenance management habits, to deploying equipment condition monitoring, operations and maintenance teams have the power to enact great change. Taking action and sticking with a strategy is what sets apart the top-performers from the rest of the pack. And contrary to popular belief, it’s not difficult to get started. The plethora of information available, consultants (like our friends at Road To Reliability), and technologies make it simple to improve operational efficiency and save money. 

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