One of, if not the most important term in manufacturing to understand is OEE, or overall equipment effectiveness. In general, OEE is the measurement of plant equipment’s technical performance in accomplishing a task so that the manufacturer can judge the effectiveness of the asset. They can then use this information in order to add value to the business through the analysis of capacity losses or gains through the part.
However, it is very complicated to bring about real change and improvements in these systems, and the process can be very confusing. Therefore, it is necessary to know and understand that there are three major terms as it refers to OEE:
- Technical Aspect
- Active Supervision
The first of these pillars is the technical aspect of OEE, which is a very broad and far-reaching topic that encompasses many potential technical issues that could affect OEE. One important place to start is identifying the levers that can improve the process flow and, eventually, increase output. Then, it is important to take these and transfer them into a well-constructed plan to improve and perfect a company’s OEE. Some of these ‘levers’ could include:
- Machine configuration
- Correct batch size
This aforementioned OSAP should, ideally, include a structure for the work packs and their activities. This also includes cost, starting and ending dates, impact, implementation progress and responsibilities. It must be treated as a living document and used, primarily, to implement a problem-solving meeting routine where employees at all levels work together proactively to achieve regular, incremental improvements to the manufacturing process.
Going back to the fundamental goals of OEE, one of these most important goals is to eliminate the “Six Big Losses”, the six most common causes of efficiency loss in manufacturing:
- Setup and adjustments
- Small stops
- Reduced speed
- Startup rejects
- Production rejects
Unfortunately, true honest analysis is oftentimes lacking with respects to OEE, so results don’t always present an entirely correct picture of reality. If the full benefits of OEE are to be utilized, then each process must be analyzed to diminish the six big losses.
Analysis and idea development is incredibly important for adopting OEE more effectively, however for real change to occur, everyone involved in the process must support and implement the changes that must happen. A great way to spread the message and keep constant reminders of the changes is to implement whiteboards.
These whiteboards will ideally describe the changes, prevent confusion and drive empowerment among each worker involved in the manufacturing process. They will describe the current state of the plant’s production zones, equipment and other features, as well as what issues or work are still yet to be done.
Achieving World-Class OEE
Engineering firms around the world are taking note of these new strategies to improve OEE, and companies such as Premier Automation are on the cutting edge of efficiency in automation solutions. In fact, Premier takes a crucial role in integrating existing equipment with new capabilities including tracking abilities and accompanying software to map out changes. Reach out to us for a free consultation and our engineers can bring your automation system into the future.