Overall equipment effectiveness calculations can turn rivers of Big Data into nuggets of actionable information. Readers share their experiences using OEE to measure and improve operational efficiency:
1. OEE in action. Use simple, very large graphical displays visible to the operators on the line with ongoing performance vs. planned performance. This is the first step to make OEE useful. Automatic trend analysis can show the reasons contributing to most of the stoppages and downtime. Direct translation to lost processing time and lost money is the next step. Use alarms when a trend has been detected. It’s also important to schedule team discussions about equipment performance at shift changes and again at mid-shift. Reward and celebrate consistent performance.
2. Empower operators. In developing reporting systems for bottling lines, calculate the OEE of the line, the OEE of the machines, and the availability of crate and bottle conveyors. Generate detailed reports to show operators downtime Pareto charts of the machines and conveyors, including quality and KPI reports. Use SCADA on the plant floor to show operators the alarms and warnings of the machines they are operating to help them react immediately if a fault occurs. This system can help improve the efficiency of the line and also reduce operations staff.
3. Maintain reporting integrity. As simple as the calculations can be, provide many samples so that someone who has certain targets in mind cannot manipulate any nuances. Honesty in reporting validates the program. Without honesty you are chasing ghosts using OEE as a tool. Make data logging and measurement as simple as possible. Know your standards for uptime, waste, delay and other factors that affect production volumes and quality. The best way to improve operational efficiency is to involve the whole team in providing input.
4. Integrate with batch controls. OEE is relatively standard. It is based on how you define your system and efficiency. Set it up right, and then consistently track the system and results. When possible, integrate an OEE system and its measurement parameters with other existing software that control batch production. While OEE is important for assessing automation ROI, don’t let it become the sole focus.
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