You may have heard about OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) before. It’s been available for many years now and is considered the stepping stone to gaining operations visibility, managing quality and enhancing throughput for manufacturing plants, especially in the Food and Beverage and CPG industries.
OEE is a measure of three conditions: Availability, Performance, and Quality. It is measured in terms of a percentage; 100% would be ‘perfect’ performance and it’s the guideline that companies use to benchmark production.
A MESA International Whitepaper discusses the “Six Big Losses” categories that OEE solutions cover
So, the Six Reasons for deploying an OEE Solution directly relate to the Six Big Losses identified by MESA:
- Avoiding Breakdowns. Good OEE Solutions should provide ‘advanced warning’ indicators of a degradation in packaging line performance. These indicators can include count of breakdowns, or number of times a specific incident occurred that caused a line stoppage. By using ‘cause and effect’ operations intelligence solutions, OEE can warn of impending breakdowns, allowing you to proactively send in maintenance before a breakdown condition occurs.
- Setup Losses. Less-than-optimum line setups are a sure way to cause efficiency loss. By using past performance predictors, you can set up more efficiently, faster, and with the knowledge of what the line behavior is expected to be. OEE Solutions keep a history of line performance, so you can refer to production from a day, a week, a month, or a year from the same line setup parameters.
- Small Stops. Also called ‘micro-stoppages,’ these are blips in line performance that don’t stop, but can impede, throughput. It could be a slight slippage in a label feeder, or a slight hesitation in a filler. But micro-stoppages add up, and they can impact overall efficiency in packaging lines. When you look for an OEE solution, make sure they can manage these small stops—they are a major source of both maintenance troubleshooting and downtime.
- Reduced Speed. Another measure of performance loss, maintaining packaging line speed at optimal performance ensures throughput volume at levels needed for order fulfillment and asset optimization.
- Monitoring Scrap. Scrap is product that you are not able to sell; scrap is lost revenue, and of course should be avoided at all costs. A good OEE solution provides reporting and analysis, along with ‘real-time’ indicators of scrap, so that you can triage in advance of any catastrophic line losses. Understanding the weak points in a line that may contribute to higher scrap allows you to avoid recalls, quality issues, unexpected inventory reductions, excessive maintenance costs.
- Avoiding Rework. Along with scrap, rework is time and revenue lost. Getting it ‘right the first time’ is a primary goal of any Manufacturing Execution System (MES), and OEE is no exception. Monitoring the quality levels of products as they are being processed allows you to identify and monitor weak points in the operation, avoiding conditions that could lead to rejects and/or rework.
A good OEE product is like your best friend—there when you need them, always watching out for you, and letting you know, immediately, if something seems wrong.
For more information on OEE, and solutions that you can employ today,