The Biggest OEE Mistakes You Should Try to Avoid

One of the most important things to understand about OEE (overall equipment effectiveness) is that, while it’s undoubtedly important, it’s not a silver bullet and shouldn’t be treated as such.

That is to say, an OEE score of 100% doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re running the most efficient production line in the world – nor is an OEE score that high a realistic goal to begin with. Instead, OEE is simply a way to benchmark the meaningful progress you’re making on a daily basis. As you eliminate waste and improve efficiency, that score should be slowly but steadily increasing.

Because of that, there are a few important mistakes that you need to avoid to really extract the most insight from your OEE measurements moving forward.

The OEE Mistakes You Can’t Afford to Make: An Overview

By far, the biggest mistake that organizations make when it comes to OEE involves focusing more on the score itself and less on the underlying losses.

You may measure OEE for the first time and hit a score of 90% and think to yourself that you’re in really good shape. From a certain perspective, you are – but that doesn’t mean there aren’t opportunities for improvement that you can take advantage of.

The real value of OEE comes from how it helps you understand not what is currently working, but what could be working better if you take the appropriate actions. From that perspective, your scores in terms of availability, performance and quality are less important than what they reveal to you about availability losses, performance losses and quality losses.

Rather than putting all of your attention on a percentage, always try to extract something meaningful from the discussion about the sources of these losses. Once you know that, you essentially know everything you need to take steps to reduce them – thus improving the efficiency of your operations across the board.

Another mistake that you should work hard to avoid involves collecting too much data as it pertains to OEE. The beauty of OEE is in its simplicity – meaning that you need to avoid “asking too much” from your data beyond the straightforward narrative that can’t help but reveal itself. Data volumes are already exploding, to the point where businesses invest in sophisticated analytical solutions just to even attempt to make sense of it all. You don’t need to make things worse by forcing your equipment operators to essentially do two jobs at the same time.

When in doubt, keep it simple. There can absolutely be “too much of a good thing,” and huge volumes of data fall into that category. At a certain point, you’ll hit diminishing returns. Rather than collecting so much information that you become bogged down by it all, practice the old idea of “less is more.” It’s not about quantity, it’s about quality.

If you’re interested in learning more about the biggest mistakes pertaining to OEE that you should be working hard to avoid, or if you’d just like to discuss your own needs with someone in a bit more detail, please don’t delay – contact Thrive today.