Indium Blog

Calculating Total Downtime

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  • Folks,

    Downtime calculations can be a bit confusing. Most people would assume that if a line has 4 machines, and they are each down for 5% of the time, that the total downtime (DT) is 4 x 5% or 20%. Thinking about another example will show a flaw: what if each machine is down 30% of the time? Would the total downtime then be 4 x 30% or 120%? Clearly, 120% cannot be true.

    The mistake that is made is that if one machine is down, the clock stops on the other machines. As an example, let’s do the 30% DT case. Assume Machine 1 is down; the downtime for machines 1 and 2 is then:

    0.3 + (1-0.3)*0.3 = 0.51

    (1-0.3) is the time the line is up for machine 2 to be down on its own.

    Figure 1. One cause for downtime on a stencil printer is poor response to pause. When this occurs, the first print after pausing may have to be reprinted. Choosing a paste with good response to pause can eliminate this downtime concern.

    For all 4 machines the downtime is:

    0.3 + (1-0.3)*0.3 + (1-0.3) (1-0.3)*0.3 + (1-0.3)(1-0.3)(1-0.3)*0.3 = 0.7599

    A simpler way to calculate the DT is to calculate the uptime (UT) and subtract for 1:

    Uptime = 0.7 x 0.7 x 0.7 x 0.7 = 0.2401

    DT = 1 -  UT = 1 – 0.2401 = 0.7599

    This and many other aspects of electronic assembly are covered in SMTA’s SMT Process Engineer Certification. I will be teaching this certification workshop from July 20-22 in Jasper, IN. SMT Process Certification is a valuable asset to a process engineer’s career.


    Dr. Ron