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Managing Manufacturing Downtime Reason Codes for Optimal Performance Improvements

Updated: Jun 20

Want to drive improvements to virtually every operational KPI? Start by focusing on our simple maxim: “Get it in run, keep it in run, at target speed.” Effective use of downtime reason codes can help you achieve this goal. Let's dive into some key concepts about your reasons for downtime that you might not have considered.


Understanding D1 vs. D2 Downtime

D1 (Unplanned Downtime): This state occurs when the crew is on the line, but the line isn't running. This is where most of your headaches will manifest.


D2 (Planned Downtime): This state is for downtimes when the line is not crewed, or the crew is in an indirect labor state (e.g., lunch break, clean-up, maintenance). Although this article focuses on D1, tracking D2 is also important to ensure scheduled downtime events are properly managed. We’ll cover this in another post.

guy on his phone taking a coffee break whcih is a D1 downtime reason

 

The Three Types of D1 Downtimes

We believe there are 3 distinct types of D1s, each needing different analysis and corrective action:


1. Internal D1s

These are downtime events that are inherent in the process and cannot be avoided.  Roll changes are a classic example of an internal D1. 

 

D1s require well-defined standard work and training. The goal is to measure and improve the process capability, i.e., everyone does it the same way and in, roughly, the same amount of time. High variability in the downtime durations signals an “out of control” process.

 

The corrective action: reduce the variability by assessing your standard work, evaluating your training, and working directly with struggling employees.

 

MTBF [Mean Time Between Failures] (or average Run duration) is an excellent metric. It will never be longer than the intervals between internal D1 events. You know that going in so set your target accordingly.

reduce the variability by assessing your standard work, evaluating your training, and working directly with struggling employees

2. External D1s

These are downtime events that are unrelated to the equipment, job, or crew.  The classic external D1 is the machine is down waiting for something, materials being the most common culprit. 

 

External D1s are typically avoidable and tend to be ‘low hanging fruit’.  They need a deep dive into the conditions that cause them. 

the machine is down waiting for something, materials being the most common culprit

 

3. Break-fix D1s

As the name suggests, these are equipment breakdown events that often result in the need for Maintenance support. 

 

There are two critical metrics to consider here:

  1. How long: When they happen, how long does it take for the required resources to respond and fix the issue?  If you don’t measure it, you can’t manage it.

  2. How often: What frequency are you experiencing the same breakdown for any given piece of equipment? 

 

If you repeatedly experience the same break-fix D1 on a given piece of equipment, FIX IT!  These reason codes are an excellent source of ROI justification for capital investment. And here’s a hard saying that is worth emphasizing: if you are not using Flex data to find and fix your problems, what’s the point?

events that often result in the need for Maintenance support

Effectively managing downtime in manufacturing is essential for maximizing profitability and operational excellence. Thinking about your downtime using this framework and selecting the reason codes that make sense for your operation will help you get the most out of your data.

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