Understanding Machine Downtime: Causes, Costs, and Consequences

Machine downtime is a significant issue for every business, regardless of industry. While it’s impossible to avoid all machine downtime, with proper planning and attention to detail, you can minimize the impact on your company’s bottom line.

What is Machine Downtime?

Machine downtime is the amount of time a machine is not working because of either failure or maintenance. It’s important to understand that machine downtime can be caused by many different things, including human error or failure in the machinery itself.

Machine downtime can be measured in minutes, hours or even days depending on how long it takes to repair the problem and get everything back up and running again.

Causes of Machine Downtime

There are many causes of machine downtime, including:

  • Accidental causes. These include accidents that happen during operation and unplanned shutdowns (e.g., power outages).
  • Human error. People make mistakes all the time, even when they’re trying not to–and it’s often these errors that cause machines to break down or malfunction in the first place!
  • Poor maintenance and poor planning can also lead to frequent machine downtime because they limit your ability to react quickly when something goes wrong with one of your machines (or preventative measures like proper training). If something breaks down on an assembly line, for example, employees who aren’t properly trained won’t know what steps should be taken next in order for production lines not only stay open but also continue moving forward smoothly as well!
  • Incompetent workers. A machine that is well-maintained and well-planned can still break down if the person operating it doesn’t know what they’re doing! For example, if you have a complicated piece of machinery like an assembly line that requires a certain number of steps to complete each product, but someone makes a mistake somewhere along the way (say, adding too many screws) then this error will propagate throughout the entire system until something breaks down completely.

Costs of Machine Downtime

The costs of machine downtime can be broken down into four main categories:

  • Lost production. This is the amount of money you lose by not producing what you could have produced during this time, whether it’s due to reduced capacity or just not being able to make any product at all. If your company has multiple machines and some are down but others are still working at full capacity, then this number might be small or even zero; however, if all or most of your machines are affected by a particular issue (and there aren’t any alternatives), then lost production will likely be significant.
  • Lost revenue. Machine downtime also affects how much money comes in through sales because customers won’t buy anything until they know their order will arrive on time–or at all! If there’s no way for them to check whether their purchase will arrive before its deadline date (if one exists), then many potential customers may decide not even bother placing an order with you at all if they think there’s even a chance that something could go wrong later down the road when it comes time for delivery day.”

If you’re unable to fulfill orders on time or at all, then this could also mean lost revenue. If a customer has ordered an item from your store and they don’t receive it when they expect it, they will likely cancel that order and place it elsewhere instead. So how much money did you lose due to machine downtime?

Consequences of Machine Downtime

The consequences of machine downtime vary depending on the type of machine and industry. Some examples include:

  • The loss of business or revenue. You may lose customers if they’re unable to complete their transactions at your business. This can result in a decrease in sales, which can impact your ability to pay employees’ salaries and other costs associated with running your company.
  • A loss of reputation for providing poor customer service, which could lead others not only not wanting to do business with you again but also sharing their negative experience with friends, family members, colleagues and other potential clients via social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter etcetera – all leading up to fewer sales as well!
  • Time spent trying unsuccessfully fix something yourself instead (or hiring someone else) would have been better spent working on other things such as developing new products/services or improving existing ones by making them cheaper/more efficient etc, so that when people come back after having gone elsewhere during those few days (or weeks) while waiting for something else happens instead !

Ways to Prevent Machine Downtime

There are a number of ways to prevent machine downtime, including:

  • Monitoring and alerting. Use machine downtime tracking software like LineView to detect and alert you when machines are operating outside acceptable parameters. This can help prevent problems before they occur, which reduces the time spent fixing them.
  • Proactive maintenance. Perform regular preventive maintenance so that your equipment is less likely to fail in the first place, helping you avoid costly repairs or replacements later on down the road.
  • Upgrade/replace equipment as needed (or at least plan for it). As technology advances, new products become available that offer better functionality at lower costs than older models–and they may even be able to do things that weren’t possible before! But if your system isn’t designed with this kind of flexibility in mind then upgrading won’t help much because there won’t be room for all those extra features anyway…so consider how much money could potentially be saved by purchasing newer models instead?

Machine downtime may be preventable

Machine downtime is the loss of production caused by equipment failure or poor maintenance practices. It’s important to understand that machine downtime costs money–not just in terms of the cost of replacing the broken machine, but also in lost revenue due to reduced production capacity and higher labor costs.

The good news is that you can track your machines’ uptime (i.e., how much time they spend running) with an industrial monitoring system, so you’ll know when something goes wrong and take action before it becomes a major issue!


The next time you’re suffering from a machine downtime, don’t panic! Instead, take a moment to think about all the things you can do to help yourself and your team. By learning about common causes of downtime and how to prevent them, you’ll be able to make better decisions when faced with future problems.