The Costs of Unplanned Downtime

the cost of downtime in production

Among all the things that can possibly go wrong in a manufacturing facility, unplanned downtime is one of the worst. It’s also one of the most damaging to your company’s productivity and profitability.

Despite knowing that downtime is costly, an estimated 80% of manufacturing companies don’t know how to calculate emergency downtime costs effectively. According to a 2018 paper, the operational costs of an industrial robot can be as much as 40% of the total cost of ownership (TCO), with downtime accounting for between 6.6% and 27.5 % of operational costs.

Calculating the average costs of downtime across all companies is almost impossible because a wide variety of local factors influence the cost of downtime, including energy and labor costs, part production demand, and the costs associated with getting engineers/technicians out to your manufacturing facility.

With so much cost variation from region to region, any figure purporting to show the average cost of downtime across verticals is either extremely localized in geography and time or is so generalized as to be of little value.

The good news is that there are software tools specially designed to measure how your automation application is performing that can be used to avoid downtime altogether.

Before we get to that, let’s quickly look at the spectrum of potentially calamitous tangible and intangible costs created by unplanned downtime.


Lost revenue

If your machines aren’t running, your products are not getting made. This lost productivity means lost profits. At the same time, your other production costs haven’t gone away – they’re continuing to pile up throughout any unplanned downtime period.


Lost employee productivity

If your machines aren’t running, any workers associated with it are also likely to be unable to work, despite being on the clock. This is bad for morale and bad for your bottom line.


Business disruption

 If your products are not finished in time, your customers will notice. If the business disruption is significant and is perceived as being due to poor planning and decision making on your company’s part, the reputational damage to your brand could be severe, leading to loss of trust, customer churn and other issues.


Recovery costs

If you can’t handle the problem that’s causing machine downtime inhouse, you’ll have to call in expert engineers and technicians, often at great expense. This is on top of any hardware that may need to be replaced.


Prevent unplanned downtime

The best way to prevent unplanned application downtime is to keep a record of your robot cell’s performance over time, using well-established metrics like Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE). OEE measures the percentage of manufacturing time that is truly productive – a score of 100% indicates that your robot is producing only good parts, as fast as possible, and with no downtime.

OEE is a useful metric, but calculating it can be extremely time-consuming, especially when performed manually. This has driven the development of remote monitoring and device diagnostics software like WebLytics, which can identify trends in real-time in the robot cell, including patterns, peaks, and disturbances in application productivity. This enables you to identify problems that negatively impact productivity, empowering continuous process improvements and higher productivity.

At the same time, WebLytics provides you with the trend information you need to identify problems in your robot cell, helping you to identify potential issues with your robot cell before they cause any unplanned downtime.

To find out more about how OnRobot’s WebLytics software can help you reduce downtime, talk to one of our experts here!


Privacy Policy for processing and protecting personal data

This data protection policy applies to OnRobot.

The purpose of the policy is to ensure and document that OnRobot protects personal data in accordance with the rules for processing of personal data. The policy will also contribute to OnRobot providing information about its processing and use of registered personal data.

The policy will be reviewed each year.

Record of the processing of personal data

OnRobot processes personal data about:

  • Employees

  • Customers

  • Suppliers

  • Applicants

OnRobot has prepared a record of the processing of personal data. The record provides an overview of the processing for which OnRobot is responsible.

The personal data must be provided in order for OnRobot to enter into employment, customer and supplier contracts.

Purpose and lawfulness of the processing

Personal data are processed and archived in connection with:

  • HR management, including recruitment, hiring, dismissal and payment of salary

  • Master data for customers as well as orders and sales

  • Master data for suppliers as well as requisition forms and purchases

  • Contracts

Processing is legal by the authority specified in the appended record.

OnRobot does not use the personal data for purposes other than those listed. OnRobot does not collect more personal data than necessary to meet the purpose. 

Storage and erasure

OnRobot has introduced the following overall guidelines for storage and erasure of personal data:

  • Personal data are stored in physical folders.

  • Personal data are stored in IT systems and on server drives.

  • Personal data are not stored for longer than necessary to meet the purpose of the processing.

  • Personal data for employees are erased five years after employment has ended, and personal data about applicants are erased after six months.

Data security

Based on the appended risk assessment, OnRobot has implemented security measures to protect personal data:

  • Only employees with a work-related need to access the registered personal data have access to the data, either physically or via IT systems with rights management.

  • All computers are password protected and employees may not disclose their passwords to others.

  • Computers must have firewall and antivirus software installed, which must be updated regularly.

  • Personal data are erased securely in connection with phasing-out and repair of IT equipment.

  • USB flash drives, external hard disks, etc. containing personal data must be stored in a locked drawer or cabinet.

  • Physical folders are placed in a locked office or in locked cabinets.

  • Personal data in physical folders are erased by shredding.

  • All employees must be instructed in what to do with personal data and how to protect personal data.


Website and Cookie

  • The Personal Data Regulation allows you to treat personal data only legally for the purpose for which they have been collected. If you want to use data for purposes other than the original, you must always have the consent of the registrant.

  • Upon receipt of a business card from a customer you have his consent. If you write his information you need his signature on this paper to have a formal requirement for consent if you want to use his information. Then the customer allows OnRobot to use his data for purposes other than communication, upcoming promotions, product updates or further news including upcoming promotions, product updates and further news.

  • According to the Cookie Act, OnRobot must have the user’s consent to use this software on the user’s equipment. On The company’s intranet or similar closed group, the rules in the E-data protection directive do not apply.


Personal data about employees may be disclosed to public authorities such as the Danish Customs and Tax Administration and pension companies.


OnRobot only uses processors if they are able to provide the required guarantees that they will implement appropriate technical and organisational security measures to comply with personal data law. All processors must sign a processor agreement before processing commences.


OnRobot safeguards the rights of data subjects, including the right to access, withdrawal of consent, rectification and erasure and will inform the data subjects of OnRobot’s processing of personal data. Data subjects are also entitled to appeal to the Danish Data Protection Agency.

Personal data breach

In case of personal data breach, OnRobot will report the breach to the Danish Data Protection Agency as soon as possible and within 72 hours. The manager is responsible for this reporting taking place. The report will outline the breach, the groups of persons affected and the impact the breach may have on these persons and how OnRobot has remedied or intends to remedy the breach. If the breach entails a high risk for the persons about whom OnRobot processes personal data, OnRobot will also notify these persons. OnRobot s will document any personal data breach on an access-controlled drive.

Erasure of data

The customer should assess when personal data need to be erased by asking the question:

When is it no longer necessary to store the personal data?

OnRobot follows the practice of the Danish Data Protection Agency:

Applications Are erased after 6 months in connection with job interviews. Unsolicited applications are erased immediately.
Employee data Are erased 5 years after termination of employment.
CCTV surveillance Is erased after 30 days.
Telephone conversations Are erased immediately or after up to 3 months.
Accounting records Must be stored for 5 years from the end of the financial year.


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