Brad Kuvin Brad Kuvin
Editorial Director

A Path to Zero Downtime?

June 1, 2020

A recent blog post by Peter Daisyme (who worked for 20-plus years as director of the Deloitte Accounting Group) opines that the average manufacturer deals with 800 hr. of downtime per year—or more than 15 hr./week. The financial impact of this can be significant. Just for perspective, consider that the average automotive manufacturer loses $22,000/min. of downtime, according to Simutech Multimedia, a provider of simulation-based training for manufacturers. 

While your downtime-related costs may not come anywhere close to this, even losing a few hundred dollars per hour can significantly impact your bottom line. Say, for example, that a production cell typically produces 600 subassemblies/hr., with an average profit of $50/unit—a single hour of downtime costs your company $30,000. 

Such a scenario is not uncommon. According to a Vanson Bourne research study, some 80 percent of manufacturers have experienced unplanned downtime during the last three years, with each event lasting an average of 4 hr.

Downtime—especially unplanned downtime—leads to wasted labor and depleted inventory. It also causes undue stress and erosion of trust—with your customers, and even with your sales/quoting team as they come to doubt production’s ability to meet production and delivery schedules. Therefore, metal forming and fabricating companies must strive to develop a proactive and predictive maintenance approach that seeks to avert unplanned downtime events. 

For a great look at how to implement such a plan, consider the case at Detroit Manufacturing Systems (DMS), which has been leveraging AI-based technologies to look at asset health and diagnostics, predict the remaining useful life of equipment in real time, and achieve significant productivity improvements. The theme of this story: Transform from “fail and fix” to “predict and prevent.” And, I’m proud to let you know that DMS executives will share their transformation with attendees of our upcoming Internet of Things conference—a virtual event scheduled for June 22-24;

Presenting on behalf of this automotive Tier One manufacturer is Isaac Bennett, digital transformation and IT manager. A transformation such as that authored by DMS is referred to as “smart maintenance.” According to information on the website of Delaware Consulting, smart maintenance “is about leveraging new technology such as mobile solutions, big data applications and IoT, to ensure that all the equipment required for production operates at 100-percent efficiency at all times.” 

The move from corrective to predictive maintenance leverages the ability to use sensors and equipment controls to automatically recognize indicators of wear and/or impending failure, thus opening the door to predictive maintenance.

I hope that you’ll join us for our virtual IoT event, to learn about DMS’s journey, and to hear from several other knowledge-expert presenters.

Industry-Related Terms: Case, Forming
View Glossary of Metalforming Terms

Technologies: Management


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