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The Consequences of Equipment Failure

October 14, 2013 - Maintenance & Operations

If a manager decides to defer needed repairs or replacement, what is the impact of continued failures? In some instances, there is the potential for environmental issues or violations. Safety and health also need to be considered. This includes service disruption, staff comfort, and systems, as well. The criticality to the overall facility of this equipment has a significant impact on the decision-making process.

What costs should we consider? It is important to realize that maintenance costs are only one part of the costs we should consider. Best-practice maintenance organizations consider the total cost of ownership when evaluating options. Focusing exclusively on the direct cost will lead to less-than-optimal results. In the case of motors, for example, direct costs include:

  • Labor costs of removal installation
  • Materials costs for rebuilding, rewinding, or repairing
  • Material freight costs, which are commonly at a premium or expedited rate.

But mangers also might consider the other costs:
  • efficiency loss
  • equipment downtime, including the costs of lost operator wages, utilities and, more importantly, customer service
  • customer service or comfort, which is hard to measure but you sure do hear about it


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