Regardless of the industry you’re operating in, it’s safe to say that you likely have a variety of quality standards that you’re dealing with on a daily basis. This is true both in terms of the regulatory bodies that govern the industry itself (as is the case in the food and beverage industry, for example) and with regards to the expectations of your clients. If you’re constantly delivering sub-par parts to clients, they won’t remain your clients for very long.
As a measure of availability, performance and quality, OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) is your key to tackling this ever important issue head on. In fact, it’s a viable way to comply with even the most rigid quality standards in a number of ways you should definitely keep in mind.
OEE: Superior Standards, Superior Quality
As stated, OEE takes a look at the relationship between three important metrics: availability, performance and quality. But for the purposes of this discussion, let’s focus on the final one: quality.
In the context of OEE, “quality” tells you the ratio of “good” output compared to your “actual” output. In other words, it’s a percentage of how many parts were able to meet your quality standards versus how many were actually produced.
Note that absolutely any defective part that you produce, including those that need to be reworked, repaired or scrapped altogether, are not counted as a “quality” part.
What this really offers you is an opportunity to look at each part of your manufacturing process – right down to the individual machines themselves – and see where you’re not adding any value. You can never assume that there is nothing to improve, even if you’re technically meeting your quality standards. Likewise, when you do experience downtime or have some other type of event occur, taking a closer look at the “quality” part of OEE can definitely help you identify what went wrong and why.
In terms of the quality standards that you’re trying to meet, OEE is also a great way to provide some much-needed focus for your teams. By making this data available in a way that is easy to understand for everyone (from your newest hire right down to those who have been with you since the beginning), you’re teaching them what a loss is and how to identify it when they’re working. At that point, you’re empowering people to take a greater degree of control over the quality of their own output – thus increasing accountability and quality at the exact same time.
It’s not something you can do if you’re not actively measuring in the first place, which is a bit part of the reason why OEE is so important.
If you’d like to learn even more about how to use Overall Equipment Effectiveness to comply with even the most rigid quality standards in your industry, or if you’d just like to find out more about what an impact downtime tracking can have on your business, please don’t delay – contact the team at Thrive today.