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19% of Canadian businesses still rely on run-to-fail maintenance – survey

November 2, 2023 | By Anthony Capkun

November 2, 2023 – Nearly 3/4 of industrial businesses (68%) experience unplanned outages at least once a month, costing the typical Canadian business close to $242,000/hour. Despite this, 19% of Canadian businesses surveyed still rely on run-to-fail maintenance.

These findings come from the latest “Value of Reliability” survey report from ABB (which you download as a PDF, at bottom). Conducted by by Sapio Research in July (2023), the survey gathered responses from 3215 plant maintenance decision-makers around the world across the energy generation, plastics and rubber, oil & gas, wind, chemicals, rail, utilities, marine, food and beverage, water and wastewater, and metals sectors.

“While almost half of respondents identified reliability as a top priority when purchasing equipment, only 20% said the same of uptime,” notes Virve Viitanen, the report’s author. “This underscores a critical point: operators are still not making the connection between the benefits of reliable equipment on uptime, their business reputation, and their bottom line.”

Globally, 92% of respondents reported that maintenance has increased their uptime in the last year, with 38% reporting an improvement of at least 1/4.

Further, 3/4 of respondents said that reliability positively impacts their business reputation and financial performance, and helps them meet contractual obligations, prevent waste and secure repeat business.

In fact, reliability was rated by respondents as the top priority when purchasing new equipment at 46%, followed by safety (43%) and energy efficiency (41%).

Looking ahead, 60% plan to increase their investment in reliability and maintenance in the next three years, with 1/3 planning to boost spending by more than 10%.

“There’s no typical length for an outage, but consider one that lasts a working day of eight hours,” says Hugues Therrien, ABB Canada Motors and Drives Service lead. “Based on the median hourly rate, it would cost a business $1 million dollars.”

“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,” Therrien suggests. “This will improve reliability, business reputation, competitivity, cut costs, and provide peace of mind [thereby] empowering businesses to focus on their core competence.”

DOWNLOAD survey report – ABB Value of Reliability NOV2023 SURVEY

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