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Unlock the Benefits of Downtime Tracking

Published: · Last updated: · 13 min reading time

Did you know that tracking machine downtime can significantly boost productivity and reduce costs for your business? In today’s competitive market, understanding the causes of downtime and implementing effective strategies to minimize it is crucial for success. Let’s explore the importance of machine downtime tracking and how you can unlock its benefits to enhance your overall equipment effectiveness (OEE).

Short Summary

  • Tracking machine downtime is essential for improving efficiency, reducing costs, and optimizing equipment proficiency.
  • Implementing strategies such as prioritizing issues, continuous improvement, and leveraging technology can reduce downtime, improve production efficiency and lead to OEE gains.
  • Real-life success stories demonstrate the positive impact of using downtime tracking & reduction strategies to reduce costs & increase productivity.

The Importance of Tracking Machine Downtime

Tracking machine downtime is a necessary process for enhancing production effectiveness and cutting costs. By determining the root cause of unplanned downtime, through root cause analysis, you can create plans to reduce them, which increases equipment efficiency. Equipment downtime falls into two categories: unplanned downtime or planned pauses in operation. To maximize productivity, it’s essential to understand how various stoppages affect your facility’s operations by utilizing tools such as setting KPIs and metrics for performance monitoring.


People remain the most important success factor – appropriate training and work instructions are a prerequisite for successful production control – Source:

Reducing periods of no activity due to unplanned downtime also helps expand capacity-meaning more output could result in higher profits all around! Let us look at the benefits of tracking downtime concerning machines and other devices needed within one’s system.

Financial Impact of Downtime

Machine downtime can be expensive for businesses, with losses from production time, income decrease, and higher maintenance expenses. Unexpected downtime costs thousands of dollars per hour in smaller firms and over 16 thousand dollars a minute in larger ones. Tracking data on machine downtimes allows us to discover areas that need improvement so that equipment efficiency is maximized while reducing costs significantly. By assessing such collected information, it’s possible to identify how specific changes should occur, leading to better equipment operation and benefits at a financial level.

Digital production control with FORCAM: the reasons for machine downtimes are precisely visualized and analyzed in weekly overviews – Source: FORCAM

Reducing periods of no activity due to unplanned downtime also helps expand capacity-meaning more output could result in higher profits all around! Let us look at the benefits of tracking downtime concerning machines and other devices needed within one’s system.

Boosting Productivity

Downtime tracking can help boost productivity, as it helps spot and address any issues that may impede production. To track machine downtime, manual tracking techniques, measuring cycles of machines, or using specialized downtime tracking software are available tools. By observing the performance of both your machinery, one can get the necessary knowledge about how effective their production process operates while identifying what parts should be enhanced.

Implementing unplanned downtime reduction strategies could bring substantial efficiency gains alongside cost savings too. Troubleshooting underlying causes which lead to disturbances in the workflow will assist with minimizing delays whilst making sure a business performs at its peak potential level possible.

Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE)

Monitoring and tracking downtime is critical to making OEE gains. OEE allows for quantifying performance from manufacturing processes, thereby providing insights into sources that lead to downtimes, so proactive interventions can be taken. Reporting that combines machine-level fault correlation with OEE score fluctuations to assist operators and continuous improvement teams in shifting away from inefficient reactive measures toward effective preventive maintenance strategies. From this point on, they should focus more on causative losses instead of just relying upon equipment breakdowns, as it enables them to make better improvements across their process operations overall.

Factory teams can help increase efficiency and reduce costs with digitally captured data aggregated into precise controlling metrics – Source:

Identifying and Categorizing Downtime Causes

Understanding and categorizing the causes of equipment downtime is essential for developing strategies that reduce it. The Downtime Pareto report can help pinpoint which issues are responsible for most outages, like equipment malfunctions, human-related problems, or external sources such as power losses or supply chain interruptions.

By recognizing these different forms of interruption and classifying them accurately, we will be better placed to identify where any potential issue may come from and create plans to minimize their effect on our operation. Below we’ll break down each category – including equipment failures, people’s errors & outside forces – so you understand how they affect us all equally.

Equipment Failures

Equipment breakdowns and unplanned downtime can lead to lost productivity, so identifying the root cause of these malfunctions is critical. Understanding why failures occur, and taking steps to reduce future downtime events, will boost your machinery’s performance and reduce the expenditure associated with such setbacks.

Recognizing potential warnings too late or overlooking any upkeep activities may increase downtime and add additional costs associated with failure repairs if unattended issues arise.

By maintaining accurate plans detailing when shutdown periods are scheduled -and making sure those are followed through on – you help preserve the overall effectiveness of the equipment that translates into reduced frequency of unplanned downtime events which ultimately enhances cost savings across operations processes like manufacturing products or delivering services while avoiding mishaps due to unexpected miscalculations during planning stages before execution begins.

Human Factors

Human operator error, inadequate training, staff shortages, fatigue, and distraction can lead to machine downtime events. To reduce the impact of these human factors on machine operations, it is essential to invest in workforce development and ensure that employees are equipped with appropriate skills for their tasks. This includes introducing improved procedures and providing proper instructions so everyone understands what needs to be done without any failures or disruptions. By doing this, we will reduce machine downtime rates significantly, thus making sure productivity remains high at all times.

External Factors

Regarding machine downtime, external factors such as power outages and supply chain disruptions should be closely monitored to minimize disruption. Equipment malfunctions, operator errors, lack of materials or resources due to unavailability of inventory levels, and employee shortages can all impact the production process if not managed properly. Inadequate planning could lead to unplanned downtimes in the form of equipment failures, affecting your machine’s ability to operate efficiently. By proactively addressing potential issues that may arise from these external sources, you are able to reduce their negative effects.

Data Collection Methods for Effective Downtime Tracking

Downtime tracking is an effective process requiring data collection, which can be done manually or through automated methods. Manual data gathering entails taking down details such as the machine name/number, product code, or name affected by a malfunction, plus error codes if any exist, all that combined with recording how long the issue lasted. On the other hand, automated systems utilize software to monitor downtime issues and generate reports regarding them. Investigation. Comparing these two approaches will help determine which method fits best your business needs depending on its size and complexity of operations related to monitoring tracked events in time periods.

Manual Data Collection

Manual data collection is a process of collecting downtime data that requires manually recording information related to each downtime event, instead of using downtime tracking software or tools. While recording downtime data this way can be tedious and prone to errors, its use may prove advantageous in certain situations due to the low cost involved. Collecting downtime data without automated methods often produces uncontextualized data and can become too laborious for larger operations demanding more precise tracking procedures.

Automated Data Collection

Data collection can be automated through technologies like sensors, software tools and other means such as scanning QR codes or converting paper documents into digital files. Utilizing automated data acquisition processes to track downtime with downtime tracking software can give companies access to accurate in real-time information which enables them to gain insights and keep an eye on machines and operators more efficiently leading to savings of costs and improved productivity when it comes to making decisions based on analysis done with the collected data. Automated methods and using data tracked automatically also yields better results due to reduced human error along with precise analytics enabled by modern programs, applications and devices.

Implementing Downtime Reduction Strategies

Reducing downtime is achievable by prioritizing pressing problems, focusing on ongoing improvement and utilizing technology. By addressing the most urgent concerns first, it will be possible to rapidly decrease inactivity times while increasing production output.

Continual development is essential for maintaining a high level of productivity and involves continually seeking out potential issues then tackling them as soon as they appear. Equipment such as monitoring systems can assist with identifying stoppages quickly and accurately. Allowing quick resolution of these setbacks, which would lead to increased overall equipment effectiveness (OEE).

In this article, we delve deeper into each strategy outlined above so that you are better equipped when trying to reduce downtime through improving your OEE via continuous progress aided by technological solutions.

Prioritizing Issues

By assessing production data from machine downtime and conducting a risk audit, it is possible to determine which processes are critical for successful production. Then you can prioritize these procedures in order to reduce downtime quickly and efficiently while utilizing resources effectively. This way, you get the most out of your efforts by focusing on those problems with high priority that have considerable influence over productivity levels.

Continuous Improvement

Continuous improvement is essential for sustained high performance, meaning organizations must constantly work to identify and solve problems. To create a culture that values progress in best practice standards, businesses should set up an appropriate system of continuous growth as well as incentivizing employees who are able to pinpoint new opportunities for development while rewarding those carrying out successful improvements. With this emphasis on continuity, companies can keep abreast with changes so their operations remain relevant and efficient even over long time frames. Not only does it reduce equipment downtime but also nurtures creativity within the company’s walls.

Leveraging Technology

By tracking downtime and monitoring & analyzing machine downtime with technology, it is possible to pinpoint the causes of these problems as well as create measures aimed at reducing them. Implementing a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) for automated maintenance, having backup plans for critical equipment, adjusting failure thresholds accordingly, tracking production levels and conducting an accurate analysis using DMAIC principles can significantly improve overall equipment effectiveness while increasing operational efficiency and reducing total downtime. Providing operator decision support helps identify issues faster and more accurately in order to address downtime promptly.

Downtime tracking software collects production downtime data by visualizing key figures such as OEE. Through the reports, it becomes possible to identify the root causes of downtime. For example, one conclusion could be that new tools reduce equipment failure, as the existing ones cause the most significant impact on total downtime. By utilizing real-time insights, it becomes possible to right measurements to prevent unplanned downtime that affects the production schedule, increases cost, and decreases productivity. Collecting downtime data thus helps companies to stay competitive by tackling the biggest issues first to boost productivity.

Employees at premium manufacturer SWAROVSKI OPTIK in Austria: The MES solution from FORCAM helps to ensure that every step in the production process, all information is visible, data on machine running times and quantities can be viewed live at any time, and comprehensive reports are generated at the touch of a button in order to minimize production costs, among other things – Source: SWAROVSKI OPTIK /

Real-Life Success Stories

Real-life success stories demonstrate how powerful it can be to utilize downtime tracking and analyze machine downtime data. This approach allows companies to reduce equipment downtime, improving production efficiency and benefitting from other advantages.

These examples provide great motivation for instituting one’s equipment downtime tracking strategies and a clear understanding of what gains they will bring about when done correctly. In two distinct cases, this proved true, showing the promise that effective reduction through monitoring holds out for businesses overall.

peka-metall AG

peka-metall realized substantial gains in their operations by introducing a machine monitoring solution to track downtime. By utilizing technology-based downtime tracking and identifying areas for improvement, the company could streamline its processes, leading to increased efficiency in production without adding labor costs. Combining these factors, this company is able to save costs in the long run.

This case shows how using modern technology can be beneficial for pinpointing problems associated with unscheduled downtime and provide remarkable results if used correctly. It is also evident that even slight improvements significantly influence productivity levels along with cost savings over time when downtime tracking is utilized carefully.


SWAROVSKI OPTIK, a premium manufacturer of high-precision long-range optical devices based in Absam, Austria, is securing sustainable growth through a consistent digitalization strategy and appropriate production controlling in manufacturing.

The consistent utilization and analysis of key performance indicators has increased the availability of machines and systems and shortened throughput times. Energy consumption has been kept constant despite rising production volumes.

“We can reduce production costs because the machines have high availability and we have to purchase fewer resources,” summarizes the former Chief Technology Officer, Dr. Gerd Schreiter.


Downtime tracking and analyzing machine downtime can yield numerous advantages in production efficiency, costs savings, and overall equipment effectiveness. Take the examples of peka-metall AG and SWAROVSKI OPTIK to observe how effective tracking such as categorizing equipment downtime causes or implementing appropriate strategies can result in immense productivity gains along with cost reduction benefits. To unlock these rewards, it is time to take action on proactive measurement of machine downtime via apt techniques like technological solutions for a boosted performance within an organization’s equipment infrastructure.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does downtime mean?

Downtime is a period where any system, device, or application cannot be utilized and will not function as normal. This could include scheduled maintenance periods for updates or necessary repairs, safety precautions being taken into account such as unplanned downtime, but can also extend to non-productive activities including leisure time off work. In all cases of equipment downtime, it ultimately means that the resources are unavailable. Unable to fulfil their intended use.

What is the meaning of downtime at work?

At work, when equipment failures or power outages occur, and employees do not have any tasks to be done, downtimes will take place. This time should be used by the workers for their needed rest period which is vital in order to keep them healthy and energized. It must also be taken into consideration that equipment downtime gives an opportunity of recuperation from extended hours of laborious activities as well as provides relaxation for both mental and physical health aspects.

It must also be taken into consideration that equipment downtime gives an opportunity of recuperation from extended hours of laborious activities as well as provides relaxation for both mental and physical health aspects.

What is downtime tracking?

Production managers can use downtime tracking software (MES) as a powerful tool to track and analyze the periods of time when machines or systems are inactive. Through this method, possible problems, that may lead to equipment downtime, in production processes can be identified and their underlying causes explored so preventive steps can be taken to guarantee peak output levels. Effective preventative maintenance practices, process optimization techniques, and improved system reliability all play essential roles in reducing losses resulting from unplanned downtime while maximizing cost-effectiveness. Tracking machine outages helps production supervisors recognize potential areas for improvement.

Why is tracking downtime important?

Downtime tracking is a key part of any industrial operations process, providing invaluable data that can be used to discover inefficiencies and modify operational approaches for increased productivity. This type of automated downtime tracking is essential for understanding how efficient the equipment functions and giving managers the knowledge they need to make smart decisions which will benefit overall profitability. Equipment downtime records give an opportunity to recognize potential areas needing improvement so better practices can be implemented accordingly.