Three Reasons That Industrial Plants Face Downtime

Industrial plants face downtime for a variety of reasons. Knowing the main causes of downtime could help your business plan against losses. In fact, as the maintenance manager of an industrial plant you have the power to impact your company’s bottom line even more so than the power of 100 great sales people combined. That’s because you can plan to prevent downtime and have backup solutions in place.

According to the Enterprise Strategy Group, the average costs associated with manufacturing facility downtime is estimated in the ballpark of $30,000 to $50,000 per hour. By decreasing downtime, you can save your business hundreds of thousands of dollars.

There is room for advancement at most industrial plants, with an average downtime rate of five to twenty percent. While some downtime is planned for, it’s the unplanned outages that hurt the most because unless you have a backup contingency plan in place, there is nothing you can do about it immediately.

3 Common Reasons for Plant Downtime

Weather Changes

If your plant was built many years ago, chances are it lacks the updates required to keep up with today’s modern world – filled with fancy technical equipment that requires precise temperatures and humidity levels to operate at peak performance.

Changes to the weather, be it a severe hot flash or a hurricane blowing into town, can dramatically impact plant performance. By installing the right sensors and having a contingency plan in place for severe weather, you can prevent downtime related to the weather.

In addition, stay on top of the need for new chillers or additional portable AC units to keep up with changing weather patterns, increased humidity, and other weather-related concerns.

Failure to Conduct Proper Maintenance

Maintenance often prevents the need for unexpected repairs, that’s why it’s so important to stay on top of preventative maintenance tasks throughout the year. Unfortunately, it’s very common for manufacturing plants to take on a motto of – keep going until you fail, or don’t fix what isn’t broken. At some point down the road, this will result in plant downtime.

If your plant relies on an AC system, make sure the proper maintenance is performed to keep it in good working order. In addition, collecting data can also help you to stay on top of necessary plant maintenance. For instance, simply collecting data that tells you when your chiller requires service can prevent costly downtime.

If you know ahead of time when your chiller, or any other equipment requires service, you can plan ahead to perform it at the least disruptive time. On the other hand, unexpected downtime can occur when you need to increase productivity. Keeping up with maintenance ensures that your assets last as long as possible, helping improve your bottom line.

No Backup Plan in an Emergency

As we mentioned above, an unplanned emergency can strike at any time. No matter how well you plan, it’s always possible for an unexpected emergency to arise. That’s why it’s crucial to have an emergency plan in place if you are faced with a crisis. Let’s say that your cooling tower must be shut down to replace the filter media. Or, a local storm has caused the power to go out. You can reduce downtime significantly, or even completely, in a scenario like this with the proper contingency plan in place.

Cooling Power offers contingency plans that’ll ensure you have the right backup generator (and all other necessary equipment) in the instance of a power outage. Learn more