Latest Report: Unplanned Downtime Costing Manufacturers Over $100,000 an Hour!

Have you ever wondered just how much unplanned downtime in your facility is costing your business? 

If so, you aren’t alone… 

In fact, so many have pondered this very question that manufacturing and automation giant ABB recently conducted a survey resulting in an answer to this long-wondered query. (… And the results are pretty shocking!) 

Join us today as we dive deeper into the findings of this latest industry update and what steps you could take in your company to make sure your manufacturing business is not leaking funds. 

Who is ABB?

In the manufacturing world, there are a few Industry leaders that lead the pack… One such company is the global giant ABB. 

Founded in Zurich Switzerland in 1988, ABB Ltd. came to be with the merger of Sweden’s Allmänna Svenska Elektriska Aktiebolaget (General Swedish Electrical Limited Company) and Switzerland’s Brown, Boveri & Cie. 

Originally listed as ASEA Brown Boverie, executives decided to simplify the company’s name and go with the title we know today, simply ABB. 

Over the next 30+ years, ABB would continue to produce profits and expand, continuously being listed as a global Fortune 500 company. 

Today, ABB is a publicly traded company on, both, the Swiss and New York stock exchanges and is one of the leading and most respected experts in the worlds of manufacturing, robotics, and automation. 

The Report

The recent “Value of Reliability” survey conducted by ABB took a unique focus on how prevalent machine downtime is in the industrial sector and just how much industry funding is being wasted by such excessive downtime across the United States. 

The survey, contracted out to and conducted by Sapio Research in July of this year studied the responses of 3,215 plant maintenance decision-makers globally across the energy generation, plastics and rubber, oil and gas, wind, chemicals, rail, utilities, marine, food and beverage, water and wastewater, and metals sectors. 

The findings? 

Approximately 69% of industrial businesses across the nation experience unplanned outages at least once a month. 

For the average U.S. business, this costs approximately $103,000 per hour! 

When compared to the global numbers, we see that the average monthly downtime globally is also 69%, with an hourly expense of about $125,000. 

As you can see, unplanned machine downtime is a major issue across the board. Not just in the United States, but on a much larger, global scale. 

Speaking on the findings, Rob Snyder, Local Division Manager, Motion Services, said, “Proactive planned maintenance is essential for preventing costly downtime. Without it, organizations are at higher risk for substantive financial losses and the challenge of relying on increasingly difficult-to-source labor. With this in mind, industrial businesses should aim to progress from a high-risk run -to-failure maintenance approach to a long-term outcome-based strategy. This will improve reliability, business reputation, competitivity, cut costs, and provide peace of mind, empowering businesses to focus on their core competence.” 

The Power of Proactive Maintenance

As you can see, the main cause of this massive financial leak in the manufacturing and industrial sector is a lack of preparation when it comes to facing the inevitable… Machine failure. 

You see, in any industry that relies on technology as much as manufacturing does, the question to ask yourself is not “if” your equipment will break, it’s “when” will your equipment break. 

The best we can do, then, in this imperfect world, is to do everything in our power to be prepared for the day when things take a turn for the worse. 

Despite many industry leaders already knowing this fact, however, approximately 22% of U.S. businesses surveyed state they continue to rely on run-to-failure maintenance. 

It’s this lack of foresight – or lack of caring –– that has allowed this issue to reach the massive heights it currently sits at today. 

Those companies that do work to proactively support their equipment and catch issues before they become their customer’s issues find their overall unexpected maintenance expenses dropping dramatically, allowing them to allocate those funds to a more useful area of business. 

When it comes to proactive maintenance, globally, 92% of facilities reported that maintenance has actually increased their uptime over the course of the last year, with 38% reporting an improvement of at least a quarter. 

Also, three-quarters of respondents questioned stated that such reliability worked to positively impact their business’s overall reputation and financial performance, helping them to meet their contractual obligations, prevent waste and secure repeat business. 

The Future

Though there are many out there that seem to be fine with the status quo, working their equipment to death until an issue arises and then wasting manpower and valuable hours working to get their machinery to an operational status and await the next impending failure, it seems a majority of businesses in the industry do have plans to adopt proactive strategies and tools in their facilities to help combat downtime in the near future. 

In fact, 60% of respondents surveyed stated their intentions to increase investment in reliability and maintenance in the next three years, with a third of that group planning to boost spending in the area by more than 10%. 

In addition, 9 out of 10 respondents expressed interest in outcome-based maintenance agreements, where operators pay service partners based on achieved outcomes, such as increased uptime or energy efficiency, opening up opportunities across the board for a more efficient and profitable sector across the globe. 

The Wrap Up

We here at Rain Engineering have spent our careers helping manufacturing businesses in all areas of industry not only to digitally transform their facilities, but to work towards a more sustainable and reliable future. 

Programs like Assurance Support and notifi © are powerful tools that were created by Rain Engineering and our associates to help combat the very issues we have discussed today and are at your disposal to make sure your facility is always working at peak performance. 

You’ve spent your hard-earned money on powerful equipment and a technologically savvy team, don’t you think you deserve a bit of reliability in your daily operation? 

Rain Engineering thinks so, and it sounds like a majority of the industry thinks so too. 

If you’re tired of going to work only to be bombarded by costly unexpected issues on a regular basis, then step up and take the necessary steps towards proactive maintenance in your facility. 

… And if you’re unsure of the first step to take to get this process started, we’re proud to say the team at Rain Engineering is here for you. 

P.S. Assurance Support is Rain Engineering’s state-of-the-art preventative machine software and support system, designed to keep your operations running at their peak, foster user adoption and drive front line worker engagement, and increase your ability to scale. 

Paired with your GE Digital license maintenance and product support, these plans offer tools that fit the way YOU work, not the other way around. 

If you have a support team, but need extra horsepower to complete bigger projects, there is a plan for you. 

If your team can take care of the basics, but sometimes needs a little help for tricky or persistent issues, there is a plan for you too! 

After all, when you can resolve incidents quickly and eliminate lingering problems, you can maintain focus on the things that really matter, like moving your business forward. 

Plus, support packages give you direct access to the state-of-the-art notifi © software, which enables you to get real-time alerts of any application issues so they can be addressed immediately. 

… and by being staffed with Certified Pro Proficy resources and a support methodology built to fit your ITIL 4 Framework, you’ll truly have the power to tackle whatever issues may come your way. 

You’ve spent years of your life preparing to move forward with your business ventures. Don’t throw it all away on equipment investments without preparing for the inevitable day when that equipment will not be there for you. 

With help from Assurance Support from Rain Engineering, you can guarantee that you will always be one step ahead of any technical issue that may need confronted, allowing you to continue to move forward with daily operations while such issues are handled as smoothly and efficiently as possible.