When businesses have to cease operation they lose money, which doesn’t do any favours for longevity or customer satisfaction. However, there are times when manufacturing companies have to power down to carry out work to improve efficiency. Even though scheduled downtime impacts the bottom line, the scope can be effectively managed. Whereas, unscheduled downtime can be devastating and may lead to business failure. Throughout this article, we discuss ways for manufacturing businesses to reduce downtime. 

Keep up with maintenance

Every manufacturing facility has to follow a strict maintenance schedule, which includes daily, weekly, monthly, and annual tasks. These maintenance tasks will take time and may cost a little money to execute, but this cost is relatively small when compared to replacing broken machinery. 

To make sure your facility is prioritizing maintenance, put together a series of checklists that must be ticked off by employees and checked by a manager. Eventually, your facility will become a well-oiled machine and downtime will be reduced. 

Only use high-quality materials

When you’re repairing machinery and other parts of the system, there’s no point in cutting corners by using cheap materials. Even though these may be cheaper, they’ll fail quickly and end up costing more. For example, if you need to install corrosion-resistant piping, you should look no further than an AL 6XN superalloy that will guarantee no contamination and will last much longer than other options. 

Keep accurate documents

All machinery in your facility will have a history of failures, maintenance, and repairs. Keeping track of the history is essential, so make sure you put efficient documentation processes in place. If you do this, it won’t matter who is responsible for a piece of machinery, they’ll understand its background and know how to go forward. This documentation should be as detailed as possible including replacement part model numbers, signs of issues, and who completed an action. 

Backup your system

Modern manufacturing facilities rely on computer systems, which adds another element of potential issues. If a computer system fails, it could take a long time to come back online and the repair may involve wiping all local data. If this happens, the fallout would be devastating and may take months to get back up and running. To avoid falling victim to data loss, you should back up everything to cloud storage, which means your systems can be put back online much faster. 

Use smart sensors for equipment failure detection

Equipment failure can devastate manufacturing businesses, but most machinery gives off warning signs before complete failure takes hold. Thankfully, with innovative process instrumentation technology, you can install intelligent sensors to collect a constant stream of data, alerting you to an upcoming failure. Knowing about a breakdown before it happens allows you to repair the issue early and minimize downtimes.

Train all employees

Hardware issues are only part of the problem when it comes to manufacturing downtime – human error can also play a huge part. Therefore, you need to provide sufficient training to all employees to make sure they understand how to operate machinery, clean machinery, and spot errors. When all of your team are trained to the same high standards, you’re less likely to face downtimes caused by human error. 

Carry out regular risk audits

There are plenty of hazards in a manufacturing facility that can lead to unscheduled downtime, which is why it’s essential to find ways to identify potential risks. Luckily, this can be achieved through carrying out regular risk audits. During the risk audit, you have to assess all parts of the facility for potential defects including ageing equipment. With this information in hand, you can put measures in place to mitigate the issues including replacing or upgrading old equipment. 

Act with urgency

When you’re responsible for managing a manufacturing business, you have to be able to act with urgency and proactivity. Essentially, this means making quick decisions and taking action – instead of sitting around and waiting for disaster to strike. After all, it’s always easier to prevent a fire than fight it. If you spend your time putting out fires, you’ll have no time to focus on important tasks. 

Every manufacturing facility will face downtimes at some point, but that’s not a problem if it’s planned. However, when things go wrong and unforeseen downtime occurs, it can put the entire business at risk. To reduce instances of downtime, it’s essential to keep up with maintenance tasks, be proactive, put proper training and documentation systems in place, and have systems backed up to cloud servers.