How Much is Machine Downtime Really Costing You? Let’s Do the Math

Machine downtime is the leading cause of lost production time. Unfortunately, according to the Business Industrial Network, more than 80% of business owners can’t accurately calculate their actual downtime costs1Business Industrial Network, What is the “True Downtime Cost” (TDC)?
— partially because there are two types of downtime:

Planned Downtime

Unplanned Downtime

The Downside of Unplanned Downtime

Unplanned downtime puts your partnerships and customer relationships at risk through:

How to Prevent Unplanned Machine Downtime

Some downtime is unavoidable — even the best manufacturing systems and parts eventually wear out or fail. But you can manage some of those costs and risks by scheduling planned downtime — routine maintenance and repairs that help prevent equipment failure. You can also build in resources to reduce the impact of unexpected equipment failures:

Incorporate Predictive Maintenance Measures

There is a vast range of affordable devices that can help predict machine failures, including2The Up! App, Predictive Maintenance vs. Preventative Maintenance for CNC Machines, Lathes, and Milling Machines; November 22, 2022

Develop a Network of Qualified Repair Technicians

Cultivate a network of trusted repair technicians to help optimize your uptime through:

What You Don’t Know About Machine Downtime Can Hurt You

 How to Calculate Machine Downtime

Let’s say one machine goes down for three full days.

To find your total losses, complete the equation below using the following information:

Machine Production Specifications

Daily Operating HoursWeekly Operating HoursAverage # of Units Produced/WeekGross Profit/Unit
8 hours40 hours10,000 units$6

Calculate Hours of Downtime

Hours of Downtime/ 40-Hour WeekDays of DowntimeHours
8 hoursX 3 days24 hours of downtime

Calculate Units Produced/Hour

Average Units Produced WeeklyPlanned Hours of OperationUnits Produced/Hour
10,000 units÷ 40 hours250 units

Calculate Unproduced Units

Units Produced/HourHours of DowntimeUnproduced Units
250 units÷ 40 hours250 units

Calculate Hours of Downtime

Planned Operating Time Actual Operating TimeHours
40 hours– 16 hours= 24 hours of downtime

Calculate Average Production Rate/Hour

Total Number of Units Produced WeeklyPlanned Operating TimeAverage Production Rate/ Hour
10,000 units÷ 40 hours= 250 units/hour

Calculate Unproduced Units

Hours of DowntimeAverage Production Rate# of Unproduced Units
24 hoursX 250 units6,000 units

Calculate Total Gross Profit Lost

# of Unproduced Units Gross Profit /UnitTotal Gross Profit Lost
6,000 unitsX $6$36,000

On top of gross profit lost, you’ll probably have to pay a professional to fix your downed unit. But remember —  the actual cost of downtime isn’t lost profit — it’s time wasted.


1 Business Industrial Network, What is the “True Downtime Cost” (TDC)?

2 The Up! App, Predictive Maintenance vs. Preventative Maintenance for CNC Machines, Lathes, and Milling Machines

 3 Aberdeen Strategy & Research, The (Rising!) Cost of Downtime, April 21, 2016

4 Thomas, Downtime Costs Auto Industry $22k/Minute — Survey, March 29, 2006

5 International Society of Automation, When True Cost of Downtime is Unknown Bad Decisions Ensue

6 Business Wire, Human Error is More Common Cause of Unplanned Downtime in Manufacturing Than Any Other Sector, According to New Research, November 7, 2017

7 ServiceMax, The Costs, Causes & Consequences of Unplanned Downtime

Posted on: January 17th, 2023 by: Precision Drive Systems


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