Downtime in production


For any business, downtime is a scary but ever-looming threat to productivity, revenue, and growth. Today’s companies rely on technology, but few industries feel the sting of downtime more painfully that manufacturing. More than 80% of organizations have been impacted by at least one unplanned outage involving their machinery since 2015. The average organization has experienced two episodes during the past few years.




Research has shown that most industrial plants lose a minimum of 5% of their productivity to downtime, and many can see production drop by 20%. Efficiency translates to revenue and success, and unscheduled downtime is a significant hurdle to the smooth operations required in today’s competitive global marketplace. Businesses should strive to limit unplanned downtime to 10% or less, keeping in line with the goal recommended by international standards.

Source: ISA.ORG – Article from Dave Crumrine and Doug Post (access the article by clicking here)

Slowdown causes can include operator error, maintenance or software failure, or last-minute changes to assembly parts, such as size or part color. Adjustments are often unavoidable but can have a ripple effect, creating a bottleneck for productive operations.




Assembly machines are carefully calibrated for the fastest and most accurate job. That’s why last-minute modifications lead to poor performance, equipment failure, and frustration from employees and management. Unscheduled shutdowns result in significant costs related to lost productivity and temporary emergency work.

To help avoid these problems, we developed a checklist of recommendations to follow for the maintenance of your automatic equipment. With this guide, you can better avert non-programmed stops.




  • Avoid parts modifications, but also be prepared

In our experience, about 75% of our service calls are due to parts modification. When planning the assembly task and calibrating your machinery, think of potential changes, and run tests. This way, you’ll see how the machines will react and can make setup modifications if needed.


  • Ensure employees are properly trained

Invest the time to read and understand the equipment manual before noting a fault in the system or equipment and making a repair or partial replacement. Most errors are due to the misuse of tools or improper modification of the equipment. By training employees in the right use of machines and developing a culture of direct communication with the person responsible for automation, you can limit misuse.


  • Preventive maintenance keeps things moving with less interruption

Consider creating a maintenance schedule and workflow for each piece of equipment. Analyze applicable maintenance types, list existing techniques, identify qualified repair and maintenance vendors, and estimate maintenance costs. Use this information as a guide, so maintenance becomes less of a task and more a part of everyday operations.

Estimate the duration of the tasks or groups of tasks, identify for each job the responsible resource.


  • Understand maintenance key metrics

Audit your machinery using a simple and logical codification and identification system. This system will highlight if you are producing according to expected results on schedule and will help you achieve set objectives for quantity, quality, speed, cost, profitability, and more.

This system will make it possible to view downturns in production, plan future maintenance, and incorporate other services such as purchasing and quality control.


  • Develop operator trust, and use it as a failsafe

Your operators interact with your machinery daily. They are accustomed to listening and observing the machinery in operation. Employees recognize the various sounds and the appearance of machinery during regular operation and are best equipped to spot a potential problem. Familiarity allows them to develop multiple skills to recognize and to react quickly to abnormalities.

Many industries have noted that automating part of their assembly line has not necessarily resulted in downsizing. Indeed, many operational tasks, which involve mainly repetitive and routine tasks, have evolved to focus primarily on process troubleshooting, which is essential for limiting downtime.


  • Know your on-site ‘must-haves’

We had recently an example of a company that lost a phase on one of the transformers of the plant, so they lost electricity on the line. All the equipment stopped. And since the battery of their PLCs were not changed, the memory and saved settings for programming were erased. Since the model of the PLC was discontinued, it took some time for us to find this model and program it, only adding to manufacturing delays.

The considerable costs and delays of this incident could have been avoided if the customer correctly backed up the system and upgraded its PLC.

Ensuring “must-have” tools or parts are on-hand will enable you to replace easily in case of troubleshooting, avoiding delays if the supplier does not have the items in stock.


Optimize your production and minimize unexpected assembly lines disruption by following these simple steps. The consequences of downtime are expensive, complicate the lives of engineers and technicians, and can have serious business implications that spread to other parts of your operations.

Don’t wait until your production stops suddenly or slows down for no apparent reason. Download our ultimate checklist to avoid any non-planned shutdown of your lines and become proactive in your production management. Do you have any stories — triumphs or troubles — regarding downtime?  Share your experiences in the comments section.


Avoid downtime in production checklist

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Maintenance programs ensure the proper operation of your equipment without failure or unplanned shutdown. Preventive maintenance encompasses routine processes to ensure optimal equipment functioning. Conversely, reactive maintenance involves — as the name states — a reaction to a problem as it occurs. While some degree of reactive maintenance may be required, prudent planning can minimize the need for reactive measures. Poor or no planning results in missing maintenance intervals, which degrade equipment value and utility.

People and processes are the two critical success factors for your plan production, so an equipment maintenance process should begin with a high-performance team.




Building a maintenance team can be a long journey. As soon as possible, you should implement a dedicated team that understands the essential role of the maintenance department in executing the business strategy and achieving operational performance and safety objectives.

If not possible, we would recommend having at least the following profiles working together:

  • Technical team

An electromechanic on-site would be ideal because they can handle the electrical and mechanical sections of your equipment. They will understand the automation of assembly parts and will be better able to respond quickly in case of breakdown or a need for troubleshooting.

  • Procurement management team

Simplify the parts purchasing process and speed up maintenance-related procurement by creating documents dedicated to the purchase of critical items and a purchase order for all parts required for rapid response. The maintenance department should manage these functions.




1. Start by creating a maintenance type for each equipment and establish how to optimize it.

For each machine:

    • Analyze applicable maintenance types
    • List existing techniques, qualified subcontractors and instrumentation
    • Estimate maintenance costs and compare to potential benefits
    • Analyze feasibility according to available resources.


2. Identify the tasks to be performed in preventive maintenance for each equipment.

Group them into action sections per cycle/calendar/ shift, and establish daily routines.

3. Keep a history of repairs by developing documents (i.e., forms) to manage interventions in the manner of a work order.


4. Identify cost and labor cost data to establish the repair record.

Compile data on response times and impact on production.

5. Create a master equipment file that lists all the critical data used by your organization and external stakeholders.

List essential parts and potential suppliers, incorporate photos and equipment development diagrams, and detail security information.

6. Choose the equipment that will be the subject of a preventative maintenance program.

Establish equipment selection criteria based on its importance and select a limited number of people to test and implement the preventive maintenance system.

7. Establish the required workloads for each daily preventive maintenance routine.

Create an annual calendar by taking into account working days, holidays, and vacations, and plan the various monthly or yearly maintenance routines according to the needs of the production.

8. Ensure the availability of ‘must-have’ parts to be kept in stock in the inventory and create a precise and easy to access catalog of parts in stock.


9. Evaluate the effectiveness of this program and adjust as needed.

Check response reports, compile repair history sheets, confirm availability of maintenance equipment, adjust maintenance intervals as required, and compile and evaluate results using reports, indices, and ratios.

10. Always install your equipment indoors, with a temperature of 10 ° C to 38 ° C and relative humidity of 30% to 80%.

Sprayed oxidants should be kept to a minimum, as they can cause rust on machine parts that are not made of stainless steel. Adequate lighting and a work area will facilitate the operation and maintenance of the equipment. The machine does not require any foundation or particular floor. A typical concrete factory floor is adequate because the machine is designed with leveling feet.



Whatever your desire for preventive maintenance implementation within your team, a willingness to be proactive, rather than reactive, is needed to achieve the best results. Beyond an evolution in its corporate culture, it is mainly about anticipating needs and risks through a high-performance plan.


Today, there is a wealth of professionals and tools to put in place an effective preventive maintenance strategy. Do not hesitate to contact your equipment manufacturer to guide you if you need it. Our experience confirms that with sound risk management, your equipment will benefit from reduced downtime, increased production, reduced backlogs, and a safer workplace.

Download the checklist to avoid any non-planned shutdown of your lines and become proactive in your production management.


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Feeding equipment with lining machine


Plastic container closure technology is ever-evolving. As a product manufacturer, you are always looking for lighter packaging materials, such as caps and cap liners, and new cap lining technologies to help extend product life and ensure safety.

When incorporating these changes, it’s important to avoid disruption to your production lines. Caps, closures, and cap lining are integral to design, function and product preservation. From a freshness seal to elaborate dispenser tops, automation can increase efficiencies in the cap lining process. The right machinery, with the right sets of controls and tools, can help you meet today’s requirements for quick, efficient, and adaptive cap-lining.

Finding the best-performing cap lining machine that will be reliable, address the variety of needs to fulfill production, and reduce product non-conformity may be a time-consuming challenge.

1. Material lining saving

Many companies manufacture similar lining machines with the same technologies and limit the cut output to two cuts per cycle. With just two cuts for a format over 89mm, it becomes difficult to save lining material. At Orientech, we decided several months ago to innovate with our custom lining machines by increasing to three or four cuts per cycle.

With this increased capacity of the lining machine, yield usage of the wad of the lining material is optimized each time. Therefore there is a recurring economy at every cycle, which has a significant impact on their equipment return on investment. It’s another way we deliver more value for manufacturers.

2. Lining materials handling and usage

Product needs can range from a liner that seals a bottled or a jarred product to liners that stay in a cap for a particular function and/or protection. An automatic cap lining machine can handle the process of fitting or wadding caps with these various liner materials at high production rates. Depending on cap size, speed can reach an output faster than 1,200 caps per minute.

3. Intuitive and flexible vision system

For lined caps, a vision inspection system is crucial. With full visibility of caps and liners during production, manufacturers can foresee any production issues and also minimize downtime. This is especially helpful when frequent changeovers are involved for cap colors, sizes, lining materials type and finish such as foam, shiny or matte finish aluminum.

4. Ability to handle various sizes and number of simultaneous cuts

Products come in many varieties and a growing number of different sizes. Before investing in an automated cap lining system, ensure that the machine can handle the range of your products or your customers requirements. You should insist on a system with a capacity ranging from 20mm to 165mm caps to sufficiently cover the most popular sizes, although larger automated cap lining tools are also available.

5. Compact size, yet robust performance

Cap manufacturers are increasingly looking for cap lining machines that can be easily positioned between other stages of automation.

A cap lining machine should be compact so that it can mesh well with current systems and placement, but it also should perform as well as or better than a larger machine.

Innovations, including station revision and miniaturization, allows for a smaller footprint and greater production agility while adding to the overall rigidity of the system.

The right cap manufacturing machine will accommodate a wide range of cap sizes, with the ability to switch between one size and another with a simple tool.

The right cap manufacturing machine will accommodate a wide range of cap sizes, with the ability to switch between one size and another with minimum changeover time and tools. We encourage you to contact a partner that uses the latest technologies, built from years of experience in delivering cap production solutions for many industries. Make sure that the machines are small, yet robust and full-featured. They will fit well in your production line and deliver results, even in the type of challenges oversized caps and other parts can present.

Should you need information on how Orientech can handle your cap and closure production needs or any other cap challenge, contact us today.

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Turn-key automated assembly machines


Are you an automation engineer with a focus on safety, quality, and cost? Are you looking for ways to receive machinery deliveries in the promised time, according to your expectations? Do you want to optimize operations to maximize productivity and reduce interruptions to your usual workflows?

One of the best practices to avoid unplanned downtime is to implement mandatory well-organized, and managed FAT and SAT into your processes. These testing periods are major milestone during project execution and installation. They can help manufacturers, avoiding some of the common problems associated with projects, such as the impact of parts changes or variations.




FAT (Factory Acceptance Test) is a process for evaluating equipment both before and after the assembly process. The test seeks to verify that the process operates following design specifications. It is performed at the manufacturing site or factory when the equipment is ready for use and according to industry requirements. Because the tests occur before being shipped to the customer, it is easier to make modifications. The purpose of a FAT is to qualify the machine before shipment. It should never occur at the customer’s premises.

FAT is an essential protocol after the purchase of automation equipment, and should ideally kick off with an initial meeting. During this meeting, the manufacturers receive the client specifications and requirements at the manufacturer’s site to check that the new equipment works precisely according to the needs and exchanges between the two partners.

This test identifies any potential problems before the equipment is shipped and delivered to the end customer.

FAT reassures the equipment sponsor, significantly reduces the time and cost of resolving potential issues and ensures that the production lines are in place and ready for operation at the right time.

SAT (Site Acceptance Test) is a type of testing that occurs after the installation and final configuration of the equipment at the end customer’s premises. SAT typically uses the FAT results to ensure that everything works according to previously approved test plans and specifications. SAT includes checking that the equipment has not been damaged during transportation or installation and checking that systems and peripherals are connected correctly.






There is no basic, catch-all list that engineers can use to cover all possible tests. That said, our experience with our partners allows us to establish a list of inspection points necessary to control each testing process, which is essential for the proper functioning of any industrial equipment in automation. We’ve created a comprehensive and handy checklist for implementing FAT and SAT methods. Click here to download the checklist.

When all requirements have been met for both parties, we recommend that you record the test run details in a document. It should highlight test planning, results, troubleshooting or deficiencies, task repetition, and problem-solving.

Once the parties approve the document, it is time to schedule the delivery of the equipment and the SAT.




Before we dive into the detailed protocols required for effective SAT, let’s focus on a few preliminary items that should be addressed during the delivery and installation of equipment.

  1. Make sure there is enough space at the plant entrance for the new equipment. We’ve experienced the need to disassemble and reassemble equipment at the manufacturer’s site, which adds unnecessary time and delays to the process.
  2. Verify and confirm with the dedicated team about on-site environmental details such as power, pneumatic, dedusting, peripherals, and lighting. Since visual inspection is key to performance, low-light environments may need adjustment.
  3. When necessary, ensure that all other equipment and non-essential materials are moved before the start of installation to avoid installation delays and downtime.
  4. In our experience, most of the equipment stops could have been avoided through personalized training by our technicians during machine installation. Do not wait until installation to schedule and plan training, and arrange to have anyone who will interact with the equipment available during our stay on your site, including the night-shift employees.
  5.  Make sure the dedicated team members read the equipment document/manual and plan to follow the recommendations and “what’s needed” to keep it running efficiently (spare parts, tools, cleaning, etc.).


If you want to learn more, download your free template by clicking here or on the button below.


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