Maintenance Management
Difference Between Downtime & Breakdown Time in Terms of Maintenance

Difference Between Downtime & Breakdown Time in Terms of Maintenance

Difference Between Downtime & Breakdown Time in Terms of Maintenance

Lots of people use the term "breakdown" instead of using "downtime". However, there is a difference between these two terms that we will discuss in this blog! But first, let us know the basic definition of these terms. So, without wasting any time let us begin.

What Is Asset Breakdown & Asset Breakdown Time?

The breakdown is something that everyone must have their definition and terms such as repair, replacement, servicing come into mind when we speak about a breakdown.

In simple words asset is not working due to some problem. Breakdown time is the result of asset breakdown and from the moment the asset fails the breakdown time begun and runs until it does not bring back into running mode.

Everybody wants to keep breakdown time minimized because asset breakdown is not productive and when the machine should be working it is facing the issue. Equipment breakdown and maintenance work is a time-consuming process. Every minute spent in maintenance, organizations bearing production loss.

What Is the Downtime?

Downtime is something when assets and pieces of equipment are not in the operation stage. It is done to keep assets in the best condition and shape so that performance is not compromised. It can be categorized into two different types!

Also Read: What Are the Top Features of Maintenance Management Software?

Planned Downtime

Planned downtime is something that is done intentionally such as if equipment maintenance is required to be done when most of the staff is on holiday.

In other words, in planned downtime assets are taken offline for maintenance purposes so that no work hinders any department. In this several activities are done such as installing asset upgrades, regular maintenance or removing some not working parts, etc.

Since arranged downtime is expected it is additionally controlled as far as time and cash contributed, just as profitability and work misfortunes. In this downtime, the maintenance team can do routine maintenance or preventive maintenance, and so on!

Unplanned Downtime

Unplanned downtime as the name suggests asset is not working and it is unplanned. It is one of the major problems for the sectors such as manufacturing, automobile, construction, and so on. It can be harmful in decreasing the profit ratio and the productivity of the organization will also suffer.

When some crucial machine is not working efficiently or out of service then big issues can occur. Therefore, you must avoid unplanned downtime by providing maintenance on a regular period.

In unplanned downtime, maintenance failed equipment is serviced as quickly as possible because business loss can occur. Downtime and breakdown both are tried to keep minimized with little planned downtime you can decrease breakdown time.

So, what's the solution?

It's great you asked.

A more effective solution to the problem is proactive maintenance through which you can reduce downtime of asset and breakdown time as well. Proactive maintenance can be categorized into preventive and predictive maintenance.

According to Statista,  “It is expected that the global predictive maintenance market will reach around 23.5 billion U.S. dollars by 2024. The market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of almost 40 percent between 2018 and 2024.”

When you are using proactive maintenance, it does not mean that you have to plan and schedule maintenance unnecessarily. It focuses on providing maintenance to those assets which need maintenance.

Proactive maintenance can help in maintenance, but keeping track of assets is a hard task when there are assets in abundance. Finding out which asset needs maintenance & which does not become complicated activity.

That is why you need automated maintenance management software such as CMMS. It can be an exact tool that your organization requires, it has the potential to grow your business and optimize daily maintenance operations.

Recommend To Read: How to Optimize Operational Costs Through Breakdown Maintenance?

What Is the Difference Between Downtime and Breakdown Time?

The difference between downtime and breakdown time is discussed below:

  1. Downtime can be planned or unplanned activity but the breakdown is entirely an unplanned activity.
  2. A planned event such as scheduled downtime is cost-effective compared to an unplanned event such as a sudden breakdown.
  3. Planned downtime does not delay production whereas breakdown time can cause delays in production.
  4. Breakdown time is the result of unscheduled maintenance whereas downtime is part of scheduled maintenance activity.
  5. In planned downtime preventive maintenance can be used, in unplanned downtime, condition-based maintenance and the breakdown, breakdown maintenance or emergency maintenance can be utilized.


If you want to save your business from unnecessary expenses then you must implement preventive maintenance. It can be very helpful in maintenance activities because it works proactively and schedules maintenance for assets and pieces of equipment.

However, CMMS software is used for this purpose! In this planned maintenance work orders are created and assigned to the technicians. A checklist is created to know what are tasks need to be done in each work order.

Furthermore, with this software, you can define the frequency of maintenance activity such as daily, weekly, monthly, etc. It also alerts the technicians when work is allotted or reminders when getting delayed.

With the software, you can track technician activities, the cost of repairing and maintenance, spare and consumable expenses.

Also Read: What Is Strategic Asset Management and Its Benefits?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What are the benefits of CMMS software?

Benefits of CMMS software are scheduled maintenance, asset history, reducing downtime, minimizing maintenance cost, effective work order management, increase productivity, enhanced safety, automated work management, alerts, and notifications.

2. How machine downtime can be decreased and uptime can be increased?

In simple terms, downtime is when an asset is not operational and uptime is when an asset is operational. For reducing downtime, you need to ensure that machines get maintenance regularly, performance does not decrease. When maintenance will be provided on time then maintenance will not have to work much on the asset, just regular maintenance will work.

3. What is breakdown maintenance?

Breakdown maintenance is that type of maintenance that is used on an asset that is already in failed stage or about to fail. It can be either planned or unplanned. For example, run to failure maintenance is a breakdown maintenance type.

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