All manufacturers experience downtime, typically in the range of 5 to 20 percent. Downtime can affect an entire factory, or just a portion of the assembly line or a piece of manufacturing equipment. And while Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) adoption has improved productivity in many manufacturing environments, it also increases the risk of downtime.
From an information technology (IT) perspective, planned outages, maintenance, upgrades, and updates account for some productivity disruptions. It is the unplanned IT-related outages that present the real challenges to an organization.
Many factors play into the impact of such unplanned outages:
- Frequency of incidents—for example, weekly versus monthly
- Length of the disruptions—minutes to hours to days, for example
- Breadth of the degradations, such as one machine on the automated assembly line versus the full assembly line itself or the WAN connection to the data center that sends communications to the assembly line
- Type of manufacturing the plant is involved in, such as parts production needed to complete assembly in other factories, assembly for final goods, inventory for revenue, custom order completion for direct customers, employee productivity, and vendor productivity (transportation of materials in the next stage of a process, for example)
- Type of industry, such as perishable foods versus high-tech equipment versus pharmaceutical manufacturing
No one seems to be immune to this problem: A frequently referenced Aberdeen study indicates that 82 percent of respondents reported that they had grappled with unplanned downtime within the previous three years of the study. Not surprisingly, the more frequent the outages and the longer they take to rectify and restore to operations, the greater the negative financial impact to the organizations. Ultimately, the tangible costs of manufacturing downtime range from thousands of dollars per hour to thousands of dollars per minute. Consider some specific industries and their cost of unplanned downtime:
- Food and beverage industry: Up to $30,000 per hour
- Bakeries: As much as $9,000 per hour, per line
- Pharmaceutical industry: Between $100,000 and $500,000 per hour of downtime
- Automotive industry: Can range between $22,000 and $50,000 per minute
- Electronic manufacturing: $100,000 or more per hour
Generally speaking for IT downtime, average costs are around $5,600 per minute, which equates to more than $300,000 per hour, and 800 hours is commonly quoted as an annual downtime experience for manufacturers. Consider major global manufactures with 50 to 100 or more factories, running 16, 20, or 24 hours a day. Opportunity for IT disruptions in plants—with their WAN access, with cloud and co-location partners, and with their data centers and SaaS providers—is exponentially higher with every added complexity in the enterprise environment.
Reducing the frequency of outages, minimizing the length of the disruptions, and accelerating the restoration of production post-incident lowers the cost and impact on overall employee and plant productivity.
Learn how one manufacturing organization uses NETSCOUT Smart Edge Monitoring to expand data center visibility to its global factories and accelerate problem resolution time, minimizing the impact of IT disruptions across its enterprise.