Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) is a methodology for analyzing the performance of a company’s equipment set, identifying several KPIs in how it’s utilized. The general idea is to produce a good overview of the time spent on different parts of the process of using a certain piece of equipment, leading to the identification of potential waste.
Discovering the root causes for waste in your organization can be done in different ways, but if you see a lot of issues coming from your equipment use specifically, you should definitely look into implementing OEE in your organization as early as convenient.
Aspects Tracked by OEE
OEE can help you identify every critical aspect of using your equipment. Generally, it bases its results on a formula derived from three variables – availability, performance and quality. As long as you have good systems in place for measuring the current level of those variables for each piece of equipment used in the organization, you should also be able to come up with a good track record for the status of each piece of equipment throughout time.
Sometimes you may discover that waste is being created from something you did not expect in the first place – such as poor availability of a certain tool. When you don’t have a good overview of the actual production operations, you need to rely on statistical tools that give you a good idea of what the current state of affairs is.
Tracking Waste Caused by Poor Output
Another major issue for many organizations is a large volume of improper output that has to be discarded. Getting to the root cause of a problem like this can be challenging, especially in a production facility that involves many different steps in a large chain. The complexity of an operation like this can make it difficult to troubleshoot, but thankfully, OEE is a great tool for those cases.
Since it shows the exact level of performance of each piece of equipment involved in the process, you can see which component is the main cause for the regular production of bad pieces. That may sound straightforward and somewhat redundant, but the reality is that sometimes those issues are caused by one single part of the production chain that’s not operating up to standard, and a small adjustment in its parameters can lead to a complete transformation of your current operations.
Sometimes the issue is not that easy to resolve, and you may need to look in multiple different areas to ensure that you’ve addressed the root cause. But as long as you preserve all the data you’ve obtained from previous measurements, and you know what kinds of numbers you can expect from your various machines, it won’t be hard to tell if you’ve successfully improved the situation or not.
Can Things Be Sped Up?
Even if the facility is running at a seemingly good rate, it might still be possible to go higher and improve the situation further. This might not be obvious from your regular data collection practices, especially if you’re generally pleased with the state of affairs yourself, but failing to realize the full potential of your organization is just a waste just like any other.
OEE is a great tool for discovering these potential areas for improvement where you can really pick up the pace, and the way it presents data to you can make it very obvious when some part of the facility is running at below optimum efficiency. Depending on the style of your production plant, you may need to combine this data with input from other sources to get the full picture, but OEE should still be a core requirement in the first place.
Collecting data about your organization can be a difficult task, especially when it comes to something like the performance of your equipment. But with enough planning and a good overview of your current operations, it doesn’t have to be such a problematic prospect. And when you have a good grasp on proper OEE practices, you will find it quite easy to keep the whole company under close supervision, always knowing where things can be improved in some way.