Solving the Downtime Dilemma

March 28, 2011

In manufacturing, prevailing logic says that attacking downtime problems is the most efficient path to improved productivity. Therefore, a list identifying the top causes of downtime is a primary tool for increasing plant output, and addressing each of the top downtime issues is the accepted best practice. This line of thinking contends that improving downtime is a fundamental method for an organization to meet overall goals for improved productivity.

This white paper challenges that viewpoint by presenting the dilemma of focusing only on downtime. It illuminates other causes which can negatively impact plant performance. It uses examples to show how concentrating solely on downtime can be misleading and cause manufacturers to waste resources needlessly by fixing the wrong problems. Finally, the paper proposes an alternate approach—throughput analysis—as a more modern and effective method for acquiring objective data about the causes of plant inefficiency. And it will explain why focusing on optimizing throughput facilitates more-informed decision making and provides greater positive impact to the bottom line of your enterprise.

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