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April 7, 2017

3 Simple OEE Corrections for Improved Operations

Keith Chambers
Keith Chambers

Keith Chambers is responsible for the strategic direction, commercialization and development of the operations management portfolio globally. This includes our Wonderware MES, Wonderware InBatch, Wonderware Recipe Manger Plus and Wonderware Skelta BPM portfolio of products.

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Manufacturers today face tightening margins, global competition and heightened quality standards from regulators and customers. 

In this competitive environment manufacturers need to take advantage of all available technologies to enhance operational performance. Many companies in the process industries have already taken the first step towards transforming their business by measuring and taking steps to improve their plant and equipment OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness).

OEE is a very powerful metric, calculated from actual equipment availability, performance and quality losses in relation to the maximum expected performance – essentially capturing when an asset is available, measuring the speed at which it operates and counting the products out of quality specification. However, poorly implemented measurements can provide an incomplete picture of plant performance, hiding potential areas of improvement. 

Below are three common mistakes companies make when measuring OEE, as well as solutions to these issues.

1. Failing to capture changeover time

Some companies exclude idle, changeover and scheduled break or maintenance times from their calculations, focusing on unscheduled downtime as the sole cause of availability losses. However, setup and switchover time is time during which the asset is unavailable to contribute to the shift production target. While excluding changeover time will boost scores in the short term, in the long term changeover, maintenance and idle time is a key asset utilization loss, and failure to capture these losses eliminates that potential area for improvement.

Solution: Companies should invest in a solution that properly captures all asset utilization states and reasons, categorizing these separately from unscheduled downtime. This allows users to dive deeper into the true causes of availability loss.

2. Comparing disparate assets and processes

While it may seem logical to compare scores for dissimilar pieces of equipment, these comparisons can do more harm than good. For instance, the equation places an equal value on 80% availability and 95% quality. However, depending on the asset, quality may be a more important capability than a focus on maximum availability, so the asset with a lower score may actually be providing greater business value.

Solution: Select a solution that drills into equipment performance metrics, allowing faithful comparisons between assets on the metrics that really matter. 

3. Focusing on the overall score, not the improvement possibility

This is the largest issue companies face when implementing a performance management solution – OEE tells you the what, but nothing about the who, when, why or how, or what to do to improve it. Using this approach, it’s possible to identify that an equipment piece is underperforming, but without additional contextual information it’s not possible to go deeper into the elements driving this shortfall or to identify actions to remedy the issue.

Solution: In order to drive real operational improvement, select a performance management system that can capture additional data to dive deeper into equipment and line performance to understand the real contributors to operational performance.

Go beyond Overall Equipment Effectiveness 

Wonderware’s MES/Performance provides a full line performance solution by combining real-time OEE monitoring with equipment utilization state tracking and advanced analytics. Work order management and execution tracking provides accurate production rate targets and proper categorization of unplanned downtime versus product changeover or idle time or other planned events. A line model of the product flow provides clear indications of line bottlenecks, visibility into real time performance and drill down analytics empower stakeholders with actionable information to effectively increase line performance and operating efficiencies.

Our solution has achieved real-world results – when New Belgium implemented Wonderware MES, they achieved record production.


Learn More about New Belgium

The starting point for digitizing operations

Using manufacturing execution systems to identify operational inefficiencies is frequently the first stage in a business’ Industrie 4.0 transformation. Once inefficiencies have been identified, addressing those inefficiencies is a logical impetus to further digitalize their operations for enhanced operational performance.

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Manufacturing Operations Transformation Infographic

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Contact us for more information on our MES/MOM portfolio, and how we are transforming manufacturing operations: 

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