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    Graham Immerman
    Graham Immerman MachineMetrics / April 02, 2021 OEE / April 02, 2021 OEE Software / April 02, 2021

    OEE Software: Understand how to track & improve productivity

    One of the greatest struggles for any manufacturer is knowing what is actually happening on the shop floor. To overcome this struggle manufacturers are using OEE Software to collect the critical data that gives department heads, supervisors, and operators real-time information about shop-floor activities, enabling them to make faster, more confident production decisions.

    If the objective of implementing a production monitoring software is to understand current performance, measure that performance over time, and then improve on it, one must first define performance.

    The most commonly used metric to do so is OEE, abbreviated for Overall Equipment Effectiveness. As is the case with many performance metrics, OEE is often misused and misunderstood.

    While OEE will help you identify potential losses and understand where your process is falling short, it's so much more than just a performance metric; it's the cornerstone of a continuous improvement strategy.

    What is OEE?

    Firstly, what is Overall Equipment Efficiency?

    Simply put, OEE measures the efficiency of a machine, taking into consideration the Availability, Performance, and Quality of a machine.

    OEE = Availability * Performance * Quality

    For the purposes of calculating OEE, the 3 underlying metrics used are as follows:

    1. Availability

    Availability can also be referred to as Uptime. This is the amount of time the machine is in cycle producing parts compared to the amount of time the machine is scheduled to be in cycle. Any unplanned downtime will result in a lower availability percentage. The main factors that hinder machine availability are:

    → Equipment Failures (Breakdowns)

    → Machine Set-Up and Adjustment Time

    2. Performance

    Performance refers to the speed that parts are produced while the machine is in cycle. It is calculated as the average in-cycle time to produce a part divided by the ideal in-cycle time to produce a part. The more parts produced within a period of time, the higher a machine's performance percentage. Key factors that negatively influence performance include:

    → Machine Idling and Minor Stoppages

    → Reduced Speed of Operation

    3. Quality

    The quality metric is the percentage of good parts out of total parts produced. Any parts rejected during a run will lower the quality percentage of a machine. Some of the primary reasons for quality reduction include:

    → Process Defects

    → Reduced Yield (from startup to stable production)

    With the right information and settings populated in an OEE software, the calculation will be done automatically and populated in pre-built reports that can be used for visibility on the shop floor to track production process or for deeper analysis to spot trends, bottlenecks, etc.

    oee-software-dashboard-reportAn OEE Report from MachineMetrics.

    What is a Good OEE score?

    • An OEE score of 100% is perfect production; this requires only manufacturing good parts, as fast as possible, with no unplanned downtime
    • An OEE score of 85% is considered world class for manufacturers. For many companies, it is a legitimate and reasonable long-term goal.
    • An OEE score of 60% is fairly typical for manufacturers, but indicates there is room for improvement.
    • An OEE score of 40% is common for manufacturing companies that are just starting to monitor and improve their manufacturing performance. In most cases, OEE can be easily improved just by monitoring your machines and learning where the inefficiencies lie within the manufacturing process.

    Manufacturers typically work quickly to identify and solve problems, but fail to take the time to understand what is at the root of the problem. Knowing how to calculate and optimize your OEE can provide answers to both the big picture problem and the details surrounding the problem.

    The first and most important step to improving OEE is the integration of a machine monitoring system onto your shop floor that can automatically collect operational data from both machines and operators. This will provide the production visibility necessary to boost OEE.

    MachineMetrics OEE solution enables manufacturers to not only determine their current OEE, but to use it to identify potential problems and understand where processes are falling short. Is it performance, quality or availability? Does the problem lie with a certain machine, job, shift, or process?

    OEE is much more than just a performance metric; it is the cornerstone of a continuous improvement strategy. Visionary leaders can utilize OEE to proactively identify issues and promote accountability on the shop floor. Understanding and utilizing OEE can help align the goals of both senior management and plant floor operations. This alignment will encourage all employees to be more proactive, and through this collaborative process, productivity, and revenue will increase.

    When Should You Invest in OEE Software?

    If you’re hearing a lot about real-time OEE software these days, there’s a reason for it.

    Manufacturers across many different industries - from small shops to fortune 500 companies - are quickly discovering better methods for tracking OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) and identifying automated machine tool monitoring software for tracking the productivity on their shop floors.

    And, they’re jumping on board.

    How about you? Are there any warning signs in your business that suggest it may be time to integrate real-time OEE software into your operations?

    5 reasons to implement an OEE software solution:

    1. Your Customers are asking for OEE Tracking

    If they haven’t already, it’s only a matter of time before your customers start inquiring about how you track your overall equipment effectiveness. More and more, it’s showing up on project bidding lists as a “must have.” No longer content to get “in the ballpark” reports, potential customers want reliable data that a respected OEE software solution provides. Savvy customers know that the more a modern manufacturer embraces new smart manufacturing and IIoT technologies, the more likely their jobs are to be finished on time. Which brings us to our next indicator...

    2. Your Jobs Aren't Being Delivered on Time

    When jobs are consistently going out the door late, it’s time to zero in and figure out why. No business wants to say goodbye to a customer - especially when it could have been prevented.  Real-time OEE software lets you easily track vast amounts of data from your shop floor that you can use to identify hard-to-spot bottlenecks so you can get things back on track.

    3. You Think Your Uptime is Fantastic

    You’ve probably heard the lean manufacturing mantra, “You can’t manage what you don’t measure.” The same philosophy applies when you make an educated guess about productivity on your shop floor. The whiteboard may suggest one thing, but real-time machine monitoring and manufacturing OEE software often reveals a truer picture of what your uptime actually is. When jobs and schedules are actually held up against expected cycle times, the results can be eye-opening.

    4. You Want to Improve Company Culture

    Improving company culture starts with communication strategies and tools that recognize and reinforce the most important outcomes your employees create for your business. A real-time OEE system gives you an opportunity to transform your shop floor into a laboratory that generates accurate data that you can use to create clear targets for tracking individual and team performance. Not only does it put accountability into their hands in a fair and practical way, it sends a message you are interested in a successful, long-term relationship.  

    5. You're Losing Money

    Ouch. When your business is leaking money, it’s important to figure out why - and fast. Often, the source of the problem can be traced to inefficient manufacturing processes. The challenge? Finding them. That’s where real-time OEE software can play a key role. The main culprit that machine monitoring can help you attack is unplanned downtime. OEE software gives you access to accurate information that allows you to view your entire manufacturing process and spot potential profit killers.

    Next Steps in Your OEE Software Search

    Can your company identify with any of these production red flags? Are you having difficulty getting visibility and control of the shop floor? Is your data inaccurate, delayed, or non-existent?

    If so, it is time to invest in a real-time OEE software that will give your organization the most accurate production visibility in real time. Stay ahead of the competition and give your customers confidence with an OEE software solution that helps you meet their production goals.

    Learn more about our OEE solution, or book a demo with our team today.


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