Canadian Plastics

New survey reveals unplanned downtime cost

Canadian Plastics   

Canadian Plastics Plastics Processes Robots & Automation

Downtime costs the typical Canadian business close to $242,000 per hour, compared to $170,000 globally, the survey from ABB said.

Sixty-eight per cent of industrial businesses in Canada experience unplanned outages at least once a month, compared to 69 per cent globally, a new survey from electrification and automation technology firm ABB says.

According to ABB’s new “Value of Reliability” survey, these outages cost the typical Canadian business close to $242,000 per hour, compared to $170,000 globally. Despite this, 19 per cent of Canadian businesses surveyed still rely on run-to-fail maintenance.

The survey, conducted by Sapio Research in July 2023, gathered responses from 3,215 plant maintenance decision-makers globally across the energy generation, plastics and rubber, oil and gas, wind, chemicals, rail, utilities, marine, food and beverage, water and wastewater, and metals sectors. It’s part of a report that provides insights into how businesses currently manage maintenance and how they can reduce unplanned downtime, ABB officials said.

Looking forward, 60 per cent of respondents said they plan to increase their investment in reliability and maintenance in the next three years, with a third planning to boost spend by more than 10 per cent. Nine in ten respondents expressed interest in outcome-based maintenance agreements. Under these, operators pay service partners based on achieved outcomes, such as increased uptime or energy efficiency. This results in efficient and effective service delivery with predictable cashflow.


“There’s no typical length for an outage, but consider one that lasts a working day of eight hours – based on the median hourly rate, it would cost a business one million dollars,” said Hugues Therrien, ABB Canada Motors and Drives Service lead. “With this in mind, industrial businesses should aim to progress from a high-risk run-to-fail maintenance approach to a long-term outcome-based strategy. This will improve reliability, business reputation, competitivity, cut costs, and provide peace of mind – empowering businesses to focus on their core competence.”

The full survey report is available here.


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