How Small Manufacturers Can Use The OEE Metric

Implementing OEE Small BusinessAwareness of the importance of the OEE metric has been growing among small business owners and managers. Many small manufacturers are looking to implement this metric to maximize their equipment efficiency. However, implementing the OEE metric properly can be a big change. Thankfully, small manufacturers are more agile than larger manufacturers, so they can streamline and restructure their operations more quickly. The main challenge that small manufacturers face is not the time it will take to implement OEE, but the fact they literally cannot afford confusion or poor implementation. Read on to learn how small manufacturers can efficiently implement OEE.

Learn How To Measure OEE Accurately Beforehand

OEE can be calculated using a simple formula. The formula is as follows: OEE= Availability x Performance x Quality. Availability can be calculated using unscheduled time and unplanned downtime. Performance can be calculated using the total number of units produced and the target number of units produced. Quality, of course, is comprised of the number of units that meet quality control standards.

Separate Unscheduled & Unavailable Time

It is important that small manufacturers separate unscheduled and unavailable time. Unscheduled time does not need to be taken into account when reducing downtime. Unavailable time is what comprises OEE downtime. There are several categories of unscheduled time, and only time that falls into these categories should be not be considered. If there is a lack of customer orders, then this time is unscheduled, not unavailable. If there is a lack of resources or personnel caused by forces outside of the company’s control, then this is also unscheduled time. Finally, time spent on research and development work, which may be minimal for a small manufacturer, also counts as unscheduled time.

Calculate OEE Using The Maximum Theoretical Production Speed

Small manufacturers often have not optimized their processes to the same degree that large manufacturers have. This may make it tempting for these small manufacturers to use a target production speed that is lower than the theoretical maximum when calculating OEE. This makes optimal efficiency much easier to achieve. However, OEE calculated with less than the theoretical maximum production speed is not truly optimal efficiency. This may not seem like a big deal, but hitting supposed optimal efficiency (which isn’t really optimal) can breed complacency, which can be a killer for a small manufacturer. A large manufacturing concern can afford stagnation. A small manufacturer needs to focus on sustainable growth, which can come from properly optimizing their business.

Don’t Procrastinate

There will certainly be a learning curve when first measuring OEE and striving to optimize a small There were no Copyscape matches found. manufacturer. Many small businesses, especially small manufacturers, operate on very thin margins. There will inevitably be some inefficiency and confusion when first trying to achieve full OEE. However, a well-thought-out implementation will start paying dividends in short order.