With the right implementation, continuous machine monitoring can improve production and increase equipment effectiveness.
by Anurag Garg, DATTUS
September 1, 2015

4. Percentage Planned vs. Emergency Maintenance

All facilities need maintenance. They can save money by scheduling planned maintenance rather than incorporating it in an emergency. Planned downtime is one-sixth the cost of unplanned downtime.

Consider a continuous manufacturing operation (assume opportunity cost of unplanned downtime is $30,000 an hour) that has 100 hours of planned downtime annually and 200 hours of unplanned downtime. Flipping that ratio through the use of continuous machine monitoring and predictive/prescriptive maintenance (200 hours of planned downtime, 100 hours of unplanned downtime) would result in $2.5 million in savings.

5. Downtime in Proportion to Operating Time

Unplanned downtime requires hours spent diagnosing the issue, ordering parts, conducting the repair, getting the system back online and waiting for operating parameters to normalize. By getting ahead of the failure, a facility can eliminate several of those steps. If plants can predict maintenance, they can diagnose the problem and have parts ready ahead of time.

A simple 3 percent improvement in uptime or operational efficiency can result in a $2 million impact on any continuous manufacturing operation’s bottom line (assuming the cost of unplanned downtime is more than $20,000 an hour). This does not factor in the savings from the avoidance of other downtime-related losses—product losses, injuries or equipment damages.

The article “Achieving Effective Lubrication” in Reliable Plant and Lean Manufacturing Journal reports that contamination causes 70 to 85 percent of hydraulic system failures. Preventive maintenance does not take into account usage conditions or failure from improper handling. Intermittent maintenance schedules may not catch these inadequate conditions until it is too late. If a maintenance program is to be successful, a company should experience zero unplanned downtime. Continuous monitoring can make that a reality.


These five metrics, which can be improved by continuous machine monitoring, directly affect operational efficiency. The return on investment can often be achieved in less than two years.

The key is enabling solutions that reduce the cost and complexity of adoption, work well with IT departments, and are an easy retrofit option for existing infrastructure.