In today’s blog, we’ll be discussing what planned downtime is and the benefits of proactively scheduling planned downtime activities. 

One of the most fearful words in manufacturing is downtime. Even though it is inevitable for downtime to occur, managers, operators, and technicians rigorously aims to reduce it and mitigate its effects.

Planned Downtime vs Unplanned Downtime

What is Planned Downtime?

Planned downtime, or also known as scheduled downtime, refers to scheduled time when a machine or production equipment is limited or shut down so that planned maintenance activities can be performed. For example, planned downtime can be scheduled for testing, repairs, or upgrades to machines and equipment.

In short, planning downtime for maintenance is essential for extending the lifespan of machines and equipment. However, it is also useful for reducing extra maintenance on less important machines and equipment. By scheduling proactive maintenance activities, this allows you to install upgrades and perform routine maintenance. For example, planned maintenance activities include replacing old or faulty machine parts and performing consistent system updates. As a result, this ensures optimal functionality of your assets. 

What is Unplanned Downtime?

On the other hand, unplanned downtime, or also known as unscheduled downtime, refers to the unexpected failure or breakdown of a machine, equipment, or process. In essence, unplanned downtime is out of your control and isn’t a part of your production schedule. For example, unplanned downtime may occur due to oil leaking from a machine or a computer crashing. 

Unplanned downtime requires urgent and immediate attention and action. Furthermore, it is a huge inconvenience for a company. That is to say, it can take a while before a machine or equipment is back up and running again, it affects the promised delivery date of products, and it could be costly. Reasons for unplanned downtime include equipment failure, tool failure, poor maintenance, and operator error.

4 Key Benefits of Planned Downtime

By effectively planning downtime for your assets, this can positively impact your company in many ways:

Employee performing relevant maintenance task for planned downtime
1. Reduces Costs

The first key benefit of planned downtime is that it can ensure that your machine, equipment, or process is back up and running quickly. As a result, this reduces cost and helps keep you on track to finish the products by the agreed completion or delivery date.

2. Extends the Lifespans of Assets

Planned downtime can extend the lifespans of your assets. That is to say, by proactively following a regular maintenance schedule, this can improve the performance of your machines and equipment. In other words, it reduces the chances of unexpected breakdowns.

3. Increased Efficiency and Productivity

By planning downtime, planned maintenance activities can occur when it will have the least impact on production processes. Additionally, by doing this ahead of time, this ensures essential resources, such as parts and labour, are available. Therefore, keeping efficiency and productivity levels high.

4. Allows You to Create an Optimized Maintenance Schedule

The final key benefit of planned downtime allows companies to capture asset data more regularly. And this data is vital for creating an optimized maintenance schedule and keeping productivity levels high.

How TheLeanSuite Can Help You to Plan and Track Maintenance Activities Seamlessly

Maintenance can be hard to plan and schedule, especially if companies don’t have a maintenance team that works continuously throughout a production cycle. That’s where a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) software comes in handy. 

TheLeanSuite is a cloud-based lean manufacturing software that offers various built-in apps designed to help elevate all aspects of a manufacturing plant or factory. One of the apps being the CILR Management system, a CMMS software that helps you and your workforce plan, track, and collaborate on equipment maintenance activities, all in one central place. By integrating the CILR Management system into your daily operations, this ensures you effectively and efficiently schedule planned downtime.