Downtime tracking of machines reduces CAPEX drastically – case study

Capex reduction by machine downtime tracking

How a firm used LEANworx for downtime tracking of machines and froze all capital expenditure on new machines for 2 years, even though their orders were increasing by 15 % a year.

Before LEANworx
Downtime was 46 % of total available time.

About the LEANworx user
Manufacturer of machined castings for export – railway parts, off road vehicles. Machines are CNC lathes, machining centers, foundry equipment. Total 56 machines. Works two 12-hour shifts, with 1 hour breaks in each.

After LEANworx
The firm froze all purchase of new machines for 2 years. Downtime was reduced to 22 % in just 5 months, and then dropped further over 2 years.

How did the transformation happen ?
In LEANworx we classify machine downtimes into low hanging fruit and high hanging fruit.
Low hanging fruit is downtimes caused by poor work ethics – starting production late at the start of the shift, stopping production early at the end of the shift, taking extended breaks at meal times, stopping production during shifts for no technical reason.

High hanging fruit is caused by system problems – frequent breakdowns, power shutdowns, no raw material, high setup times.

Low hanging fruit can be fixed in a few weeks through positive and negative incentives, with no investment required. High hanging fruit require longer to fix, need system changes and possibly investment in better fixturing, modular tooling, etc.

LEANworx reports of downtime tracking showed that low hanging fruit alone accounted for 1.5 hours per shift, which is 14 % of the scheduled 11 hours per shift, that is 12 hours minus breaks. This reduced to almost zero in just 1 month. The high hanging fruit took longer.

LEANworx highlighted the machine downtimes and their reasons, through a variety of reports including Pareto charts. This enabled the firm to focus on top downtime reasons continuously and reduce them.

Orders were growing at 15% a year, which meant that normally there was a 15% addition in capacity by buying new machines. The MD decided that there was no point in buying new machines when the existing ones were being underutilized so badly, and froze all new buying for 1 year. This freeze was then extended by 1 more year. The number of machines remained at 56, instead of increasing to 74.

Here are some of the LEANworx reports for downtime tracking that the firm used to achieve the transformation.
Firm and machine names have been changed to protect the identity of the firm.

Trend report of downtime in LEANworx downtime tracking feature
Pareto analysis of downtime in LEANworx downtime tracking feature