Otherwise known as Overall Equipment Effectiveness, OEE is a standard used to measure the overall productivity of your manufacturing environment. If you’re able to achieve an OEE score of 100%, it means that you’re only manufacturing high quality parts, as quickly as you can, with as little stop time as you can manage.
Now, the most important thing to understand about all of this is that nobody achieves an OEE score of 100%. It’s not necessarily realistic given the complex nature of the manufacturing environments that you’re talking about. But the simple fact that you’re always making meaningful efforts to improve that score – to get it as high as you can – goes a long way towards making sure you’re unlocking the maximum potential of your equipment, your people and ultimately your business.
With all of that in mind, there are a variety of factors that ultimately impact your OEE score – some of which are not necessarily immediately obvious. By understanding these factors, you can mitigate risk from them as much as possible.
What Impacts OEE? Breaking Things Down
One of the major factors that will likely impact your OEE score comes down to preventative maintenance. Keep in mind that one of the things that you’re really paying attention to when it comes to OEE is all of the time used for value-added production. Absolutely anything that takes away from that should be included in your OEE calculations because you need the most complete picture to work from at all times.
Now, that’s not to say that preventative maintenance is bad – because it absolutely isn’t. Indeed, you always want to capitalize on any opportunity you have to stop a small problem now before it has a chance to become a much bigger one down the road. It’s simply that you have to face the reality of the situation – meaning that if preventative maintenance takes away from the time used for production, it needs to get included in your availability calculation.
Another factor that impacts your OEE score comes down to lunches and breaks for your employees. Again, this is true for the same reason outlined above – if those lunches or breaks take time away from your ability to unlock the full potential of your manufacturing lines, they too should become a part of your availability calculation.
But as was true with preventative maintenance, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Nor is it something you can avoid because obviously your employees deserve breaks. However, it’s still important to include them in the availability portion of your OEE calculation so that you understand where those losses are coming from, regardless of how unavoidable they may be.
In the end, OEE is about making sure you have the best information to work from when making decisions in the moment. By taking factors like those outlined above into consideration, you go a long way towards accomplishing precisely that with your OEE calculation.