Optimizing the Manufacturing Process with OEE

Overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) can be one of the most helpful tools for boosting manufacturing processes and reducing unplanned manufacturing downtime. It is one of the key performance indicators (KPI) for progress being made on shop floors in terms of increasing equipment availability, higher performance rates of equipment and enhanced production of qualified goods. If a manufacturing facility can track OEE in a standardized and impartial manner and make appropriate adjustments, then the ensuing OEE score will significantly aid total productive maintenance (TPM) initiatives. These results will lead to an increase in profits and a positive work environment.

OEE is not just a methodology to track underperforming processes and equipment. It’s also a way to end the blame game in the workplace. OEE tracking can help you assess snags in the production line and understand why those complications are occurring. Using numbers and percentages, the assessments are free of opinions and prejudices and explain if underperforming machinery is due to unplanned manufacturing downtimes or performance issues during production. OEE can also pin-point whether the machine operator is wasting too much time in idling and process changing or is losing time due to lack of skill or training. OEE also gives you a clear picture about the quality performance of manufactured goods and if time and resources are being wasted due to the production of unsellable products.

Overall equipment effectiveness ratios give you the opportunity to improve at every stage. Production can be increased by specifically working on problem areas without having to revamp the entire production line. From scheduling timely maintenance routines to retraining operators, everything can be streamlined without affecting other processes.

How OEE Assists You

OEE gives you the power to understand the three most important things that affect output on the shop floor:

Availability Rate: Equipment Availability and Actual Operating Time (Planned Operating Time–Downtime)/Total Planned Operating Time=Availability

Here, availability rate brings out the downtime loss.

Performance Rate: Actual Productivity of the Equipment (Number of Goods Being Produced in a Shift)/Potential Productivity of Equipment (Number of Goods Expected to be Produced in a Shift) =Performance

Here, performance rate brings out the speed loss.

Quality Rate: Number of Qualified Goods Produced in the Shift/ Number of Total Goods Produced=Quality

Here, quality rate brings out the quality loss.

Overall equipment effectiveness is the cumulative result from the product of these three factors. The higher the OEE percentage is, the higher the productivity becomes and lower the manufacturing downtime goes. A higher OEE percentage encourages lean manufacturing thanks to efficient management of resources and reducing lost time and resources. If these three types of waste are managed properly, the system can be made leaner and highly optimized.

Increasing OEE Percentages

For a higher percentage of OEE and eventually achieving lean manufacturing, it is important that the manufacturing units take a few basic initiatives.

Train and Retrain Your Employees: This is one of the most significant steps for achieving a higher OEE percentage. A bad or unskilled employee will never yield high productivity and your OEE calculations will remain below satisfactory. Training and retraining your employees not only keeps them acquainted and updated with the machinery and new technology, but also keeps them familiar with your expectations, which keeps them motivated. Your employees must know the importance of OEE and its contribution to the production line so that they can also contribute to the process.

Standardize Your Measurements: From one unit to another, the parameters for what is important can differ and make comparisons and correlations difficult. Measurements should always remain the same so that comparative performance analysis becomes easier for everyone to understand.

Bring Automation to Your Tracking: In this fast-paced world, waiting for exact OEE results will kill the sole purpose of employing an effective overall equipment effectiveness strategy. You need to know which section is struggling in real time so that problems can be prioritized and addressed properly. Automating your OEE tracking will give concerned departments a chance to analyze simplified data in real time so that problems can be addressed in real time. This will reduce manufacturing downtime and increase productivity.

Overall equipment effectiveness calculations are the easiest way to reduce losses and increase productivity. A great OEE score will make your manufacturing process leaner while also cutting down on manufacturing downtime. Instead of trying to understand complex numbers, your work will become easier and synchronized while also infusing a positive attitude on the shop floor thanks to clearer job responsibilities that hold employees accountable for their tasks.