Downtime is a big problem for manufacturers. Whether that downtime is caused by planned maintenance, tool breaks, adjustments or bathroom breaks. Every minute a machine is not running represents lost revenue for the company.

We talk a lot about Overall Equipment Effectiveness, the benefits of measuring OEE and using it in process improvement projects. As you know OEE is made up of 3 basic components:

  • Quality
  • Availability
  • Performance

Availability measures the amount of time the machine is running compared to the planned schedule. You have to measure it to reduce downtime. To determine the Availability of a machine or cell SensrTrx collects and calculates downtime using alarms and other signals directly from the controls or PLCs on the equipment. SensrTrx can also augment this information with input from operators or supervisors.

reduce downtime

Reducing downtime means tracking everything

This includes short stops or micro stoppages as well. Short stops are stoppages that would not normally be recorded by the operator, for example if a small adjustment needed to be made that took less the 5 minutes. However, these short stops can happen many times a day and add up to significant numbers.

In another post we discussed what manufacturing analytics is and how it can help look at many different data points across the entire company. Here we will focus on using SensrTrx to reduce diagnose and reduce unplanned downtime.

Pareto Charts

SensrTrx offers Pareto Charts out of the box to help determine the most common causes of downtime. Pareto charts come from Vilfredo Pareto who identified the 80/20 rule and created the chart that bears his name.

manufacturing downtime analysis

Our example Pareto chart shows downtime in minutes and it is easy to see that 80% of our downtime is caused by 3 reasons:

  • End of Shift Cleaning – 75 minutes
  • Short Stop – 46 minutes
  • Dial In – 40 minutes

With End of Shift Cleaning taking up most of our time reducing End of Shift Cleaning will have the greatest time impact on our production. But is this the right thing to focus on? We have to clean after every shift and it is unlikely that we can eliminate this step. So let’s look at some additional detail.

Reduce Downtime – Details by Reason

In this table we can see 3 things:

  1. Number of downtime events by reason
  2. Total duration in minutes
  3. Average duration in minutes

Two things jump out, we have a lot of short stops and almost the same amount of time in Dial In. Our production teams may be able to completely eliminate both of these problems and give us back 86 minutes of production time.

Top Downtime Events

We can dive further into the details looking at individual downtime events to see how long they lasted and if there are any comments associated with them to give additional context on the problems.

Downtime Trends

SensrTrx allows you to track trends in your data allowing you to see over time how your plant is running. Using trends, you can easily see the effect of process or system changes over the long term. You can also notice when downtime is increasing or decreasing and quickly take action to resolve the issues.


SensrTrx allows manufacturing companies to collect and analyze data in a way that was not possible a few years ago. Companies no longer have to rely on paper, Microsoft Excel or clunky ERP systems to analyze data from the plant floor.

Schedule a Live Demo Today and see how SensrTrx can help you.