Recovering from emergency downtime

Times are hard for the manufacturing industry. As we know well, the Australian manufacturing sector of the future will feature specialised, innovative companies which know the importance of productivity and efficiency.

In this context, machinery breakdown has to be handled quickly and effectively. Production downtime is damaging to productivity. Whenever and wherever breakdowns occur they need to be overcome as quickly as possible. Businesses must have plans in place to get production back up and running as soon as possible.

As it stands, however, downtime is at the same level today as it was 30 years ago. And, as CIO notes, 78 per cent of Australian organisations are not fully confident in their ability to recover after a production disruption[1].

This is unsurprising, given that the failure of a single item can be enough to cause total plant shutdown. Looking at a whole system and diagnosing the problem, pinpointing that one faulty component, is not an easy task.

Once the part is identified, the next task is to determine why the failure has occurred. Those responsible for maintenance have to ask why the part is not doing what the task is designed to do; or why a process is not having the desired outcome.

On top of that, today’s manufacturing plants are becoming more and more reliant on data. So plant shutdowns can be the result of either operational or network failure.

It is not necessarily economical for manufacturers to devote full time resources to maintenance planning. On one hand, they don’t want to have full time staff without enough work to keep them occupied and, on the other hand, they don’t want to go without an optimised maintenance plan and try to do without the expertise of qualified engineers in this area.

For that large majority of Australian businesses which are not confident in their maintenance action plan, obtaining the assistance of a third party provider in this area makes good sense. It can help them plan and understand how to co-ordinate both scheduled and response-based maintenance most effectively.

Maintenance providers deliver Service Level Agreements (SLAs) which outline their areas of responsibility and can leave manufactures at ease in the knowledge that their maintenance need are being met. SLAs typically cover all relevant areas, including rapid response and resolution time target metrics, access and auditing of critical spares, data diagnostics, system back-ups and software updates.

SAGE are proficient at customizing SLAs that are tailored to specific operations, click here to find out more about SAGE Automation’s approach to minimising the impact of emergency downtime on site.