Original Equipment Effectiveness (or OEE for short) is a key performance indicator commonly used to determine the efficiency of manufacturing plants. The theory is that if you can accurately measure your plant’s operational effectiveness, you can understand what’s working and what isn’t – thus putting in place steps to double down on the former and get rid of the latter whenever you can.
But despite this, far too many people make the mistake of assuming that OEE is more complicated than it is – that it represents a change to “the way things are done” that they just don’t have the time or energy to make right now.
Luckily, this is false. You don’t have to change your existing process to work with OEE at all. In truth, that’s actually kind of the point.
An Organic Approach to OEE: What You Need to Know
Overall, OEE is typically applied to those manufacturing processes that create individual parts – but it can also be used in environments like refineries, too. This is because the type of data being generated by a true OEE implementation is in use practically everywhere – which is exactly why the concept has a home in your current process, too.
While OEE may be incredibly specific by its nature, it’s also a lot broader than people realize. Really, all you’re talking about is the ratio of Fully Productive Time to Planned Production Time. The first term refers to the actual amount of parts or other products that you’re manufacturing in a given period. The second refers to the highest number you can theoretically output during the same timeframe. Therefore, if yours is a manufacturing facility that produces absolutely anything – and of course it is – OEE has a home in your operations.
The difference between those two terms, by the way, is waste – which is also something everyone can benefit from eliminating.
Once you’ve identified your losses even on a single machine, you suddenly have a clearer picture than ever of the performance of your entire line. Thanks to downtime tracking software like Thrive, this is also as easy as you’d hoped it would be. In a matter of seconds after your initial activation, you can be measuring major loss factors like:
- Equipment Failure.
- Setups and Adjustments.
- Idling Periods.
- Minor Stops.
- Reduced Speeds.
- Process Defects.
- Reduced Yield.
- And more.
By making an effort to implement OEE into your existing process using Thrive and other tools, you’re not changing anything at all. Rather, you’re gaining more insight into what you’re already doing and are seeing exactly how productive you are versus how productive you can be. You’ll know more than just whether or not your lines are running – any analytical tool can tell you that, as can your own two eyes.
Instead, you’ll know exactly how efficiently they’re performing and exactly how to reduce production downtime – which is an incredibly exciting position for any manufacturing professional to be in.
If you’d like to find out more information about how OEE can effortlessly fit into your existing process, or if you’d just like to see what our innovative downtime management solution can do, please don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and contact Thrive today.