Plant or Production Downtime

Plant downtime is the period which the plant is off-line and not producing any products or adding value to the business and its customers. It can also be called idle time, downtime, or off line period. It is a common operations and production management KPI which is usually tracked on a daily basis, the aim is obviously to reduce the amount of downtime in a productive process or at the very least be able to control it and used it to the manager’s advantage. It is also used in calculating the OEE of equipment and production plants unit cost, factored into production planningcapacity planning, and should be considered when setting safety stock levels, as excessive downtime can indicate unreliable equipment and/or supply chain .

Plant downtime can also be split up into different reasons or sub-classifications such as the following:

Plant maintenance scheduled downtime
– Production scheduled downtime or idle time
– Production unscheduled downtime
– Process failure time
– Plant breakdown time
– Engineering/Equipment unscheduled downtime

When plants or productive processes are running at close to or at capacity plant downtime becomes a very important issue in production planning and management, as the plant or process can’t produce any output there is loss of revenue and profits when production targets aren’t reached. In these cases many process improvement, pokayoke tools such as startupproduction checklists and lean manufacturing principles and techniques can be used to boost efficiencies, identify problem areas, bottlenecks, maintenance issues, and other items which produce plant downtime. In some operations plant up time is a preferred measure of plant running time which incorporates all plant downtime.

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