“We already have a Downtime System”…Or do you?

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It’s been a while since I have written on Downtime Systems (see World Coal magazine, June 2013 edition for a comprehensive review of downtime across the supply chain), but the value of these systems continues to be shown over and over again, with MMG as the latest and greatest example, and the results are in – throughput gains of 10% to 30% are achievable with the correct use of a good Downtime System.

“We manage Downtime our own way”

Some miners regard Downtime Systems as a standard “must have,” yet others either don’t have them or have deployed systems that do not embody known best-practices. Commonly I have heard, “we don’t need a Downtime System, we collect downtime through the maintenance system.”  If you are doing this, I guarantee your data is both less accurate and less useful than it could be.

Manually entered data on stoppages by maintenance resources will at best give you only an idea of the time needed to fix equipment failures. It won’t tell you about delays due to process or people issues, it won’t tell you about yield losses, it won’t tell you about long periods of “slow running” and it won’t tell you about stoppages or slow running due to downstream or upstream processes.

Another common belief is that measuring stoppages on equipment is the same thing as a good Downtime System. This logic also has some serious flaws. It is of course good to know about equipment issues, but good, forward-looking maintenance practices, Condition Monitoring, and increasingly Predictive Maintenance, may be a better bet than this practice of simply recording equipment stoppages. 

“So what should we be doing then?”

There are many things you can do, and here is a checklist you can review to help determine if you currently have a good Downtime System (people, technology, processes) in place or not:


“What’s next on the horizon for Downtime Systems?”

There have also been some recent developments in mining industry standards around the Downtime Systems topic which are even more helpful for analysis, implementation, and benchmarking. The Global Mining Standards and Guidelines Group (GMSG) has published a draft recommendation for a standard time usage model (TUM) and set of KPI’s that I suggest you take a look at. See

Current Proposed Standard Time Model, Global Mining Standards and Guidelines Group

Some of the key KPI’s in the recommendations include:

So if you feel your Downtime System isn’t as effective as it could be, start by implementing the GMSG models and a proven mining industry solution like Schneider Electric’s Ampla MES software, and you’ll be back on the road to managing and leveraging the KPI’s of downtime more effectively and producing more very quickly.







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  • Thanks for sharing such a great article about machine downtime! Using a good Downtime Tracking software is a great idea for handling critical machine downtime situations. I am using Thrive – A downtime tracking software, even professionals are also recommending it.

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