Frequently Asked Questions


Question: Will I receive software upgrades?

Answer: Our subscription service includes all software upgrades. For example when a new or upgraded report is available, you as a subscriber will have access to it as soon as it is ready. The only exception is for customized reports, paid for by individual companies and will not be available for the all users.


Question: What reports are available?

Answer: After setting up your database and entering data for a couple of shifts, you can start viewing the reports. We have the following reports:
  • Daily and Weekly Reports:  Summarize the information for the day, shift, and week.
  • Downtime Category Reports:  These provide pie charts and bar charts of the total downtime by category (you define the downtime categories during the database set-up).
  • Production Downtime Reports:  These reports show you which products generate more machine problems and more machine downtime.
  • Performance Analysis Reports:  These reports show a comparison of the performance of the different shifts.
  • Financial Reports:  These reports provide you with an estimate of the total cost of downtime per machine (these reports are restricted to Database Administrators).


Question: Can I have different users?

Answer: Yes. DowntimeDB allows you to create different users. There are two types of login types: Administrators (Admin) or Users. The Administrators will have access to edit/add historical data, view financial reports, and modify the database parameters (add/delete machines, add/delete downtime categories, add/delete Regular Users, etc.). On the other hand, the Regular Users are limited to adding/editing recent data (not older than 2 days) and print non-financial reports.


Question: When can I access my information?

Answer: The database is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on your PC, tablet or mobile phone. The only exception would be during system maintenance.


Question: Who can use DowntimeDB?

Answer: Some of the users that can benefit from our system include Production Supervisors, Production Managers, Maintenance Supervisors, Maintenance Managers, Operations Managers, and Machine Operators or anyone who is interested in improving performance.


Question: Why give access to the system for free?

Answer: Most of our clients are using manual or spreadsheet-based downtime tracking systems. These systems are so difficult to manage that most downtime information is never used or it takes a significant amount of time and effort. We believe that by trying our downtime tracking application you will be able to see its usefulness and experience how much time it will save you and your organization.


Question: What information do I need to provide to set-up the database?

Answer: When you set-up your database you need to provide:
  • Production Area:  This parameter helps by including machines from the same area in the same report.
  • Machine Types:  This parameter is needed because similar machines will use the same downtime categories.
  • Machine Names:  You will also enter the name, number of employees, and average labor rate for each machine you decide to include in the downtime database.
  • Downtime Categories:  This is where you define how you want your data to be grouped. Some examples of downtime categories include: meeting, scheduled down, loading station, waiting for repair, and down for preventive maintenance. It is one of the most important parts of the system, so take your time to define what is the most important categories will be for each machine type.
  • Shifts:  This is a simple definition of how many shifts your operation works. By default you will have three shifts: 1, 2, and 3.


Question: What browser can I use?

Answer: Currently, we recommend at a minimum Mozilla Firefox 10+, Internet Explorer 8+ and Chrome. Our session timeout warning will not display a popup alert in IE8, but will timeout at the selected time interval.


Question: How secure is my data?

Answer: DowntimeDB strives to maintain the security of your data. All database files are located outside of the main website directory. This database directory is a secured directory that is not accessible via a browser. Any databases contained within the database folder cannot be downloaded and viewed by unauthorized persons. Additionally, the directory is pre-configured with the proper permissions to allow for database inserts and updates. You can also review our privacy policy.


Question: What information do I need to provide every shift?

Answer: DowntimeDB is designed to collect information for each shift. At the end of every production shift you or your operator in charge of entering data can log-in and enter the following three parameters from a drop down menu: date, shift, and machine.

Then, the system prompts for a Work Order number, a Product number and the Net Units produced during the shift and the Rejected or scraped units during the shift.

Finally, the system allows you (or your designee) to enter each machine downtime event that occurred during the shift. For each downtime event, the following information is needed: Downtime Category, Cause of downtime, Downtime (in minutes), Corrective Action, and a field for the name of the production operator/mechanic that performed the corrective action.

This might seem like a lot of data, but we have designed a special downtime collection form to allow your machine operators to keep track of the downtime events and to enter the data at the end of the shift.


Question: How do I pay for the service?

Answer: Currently DowntimeDB prefers credit cards and we selected PayPal as the credit card processor for our services. When you sign up for our subscription, you select an annual subscription. Then, every year your credit card will be charged the subscription fee. If you wish to purchase a subscription using offline modes of payment (check, PO etc.), or if you do not find a service you want, please contact our sales team with your request.

If for any reason you are not satisfied with our service you may unsubscribe at any time. We have a 30 day money back guarantee.


Question: Why use PayPal?

Answer: In order to keep our services priced at reasonable levels, we have outsourced our payment processing functions.


Question: Is PayPal secure?

Answer: PayPal will maintain all your information private and uses SSL technology to keep your information safe. Links to PayPal's policies: privacy policy and security policy.


Question: If this is a new version what can we expect for the next version?

Answer: With all versions of our downtime database, we evaluate many upgrades and as soon as they are complete, they will become available to everyone. Among those improvements, we can mention:
  • Improved printer-friendliness of our reports and charts
  • Improved security of your data
  • Options to download data (so you can create your own reports and charts)
  • Additional algorithms to analyze your downtime information
  • More efficient data entry/edit/delete commands for slower internet connections
  • Others….


Question: Is there a database in Spanish or other Languages?

Answer: Currently we only offer the database in English, but we are evaluating the option of expanding it to different languages. Please send us your suggestion to our support team.


Question: Will my browser support your charts?

Answer: The creation of charts does not require Adobe Flash or Java. All browsers should be able to create and print charts for you to evaluate the data.


Question: What is the cost of DowntimeDB?

Answer: Before we talk about prices, we would like to invite you to use our Downtime Cost Calculator. After you estimate the cost of one machine or one department, a link to our prices will be available for you to look at.


Question: Can I change the session timeout interval?

Answer: Yes. Go to Help--> Your Account. Select from 5 minutes to 120 minutes and then click update. You will be required to sign in again to set new session timeout.