You Can’t Improve What You’re Not Measuring: Why OEE Will Always Matter  

As a manufacturing professional, continuous improvement is obviously a concept that is always at the forefront of your mind.

Even if you’re completely happy with the way things are going today… there are always opportunities for improvement. Capitalizing on those opportunities is one of the best ways to not only increase revenue, but to also remain competitive in an increasingly crowded marketplace.

That, in essence, is why OEE tracking will always matter. Also commonly referred to as Overall Equipment Effectiveness for short, OEE tracking is all about gaining a deeper understanding of the quality, availability and performance of your production lines. Not just in terms of your overall business, but down to things like the shift, the piece of equipment in question and even the individual operator.

The Power of OEE

One of the major reasons why OEE will always matter has to do with the six big types of losses that will constantly be present across your operations. These include things like:

  • Unplanned stops, that are likely the result of issues like equipment failure.
  • Planned stops, which may be necessary but can always be improved by taking a closer look at things like setups and adjustments.
  • Small stops, which are usually caused by idling and minor stops that may not be so minor under closer examination.
  • Slow cycles, which are the result of reduced speed, among other factors.
  • Production rejects, which may point to an issue in your production process somewhere.
  • Startup rejects, which typically always translate to reduced yield.

OEE takes a look at all of these issues within the context of fully productive time. This in turn also gives you insight into how much of your operator’s time they’re able to maximize on a daily basis.

A lot of these things can be exacerbated – and on the flip side, corrected – by equipment maintenance. If you’re still practicing a reactive maintenance plan – meaning that you’re simply waiting for something to break so you can fix it – you’ll likely see increased instances of those six big losses outlined above.

On the contrary, if you’re practicing predictive maintenance – meaning that you’re stopping small issues before they have a chance to become much larger ones – you’ll eliminate these problems across the board.

Remember that machines that break down frequently are nearly impossible to optimize for that reason. This creates a ripple effect in the worst possible way. Not only does this reduce your ideal cycle time, but it also probably contributes to an increased number of product defects as well.

OEE can help you better understand where your issues lie within the context of all of this, putting you in the best possible position to do something about it.

To find out more information about why OEE is always going to be an important metric for your organization, or to speak to someone about your own situation in a bit more detail, please don’t delay – contact Thrive today.