For Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) to be successful it needs to be culturally adopted from the top down and bottom up. Melanie Owens, MES technical consultant at EmsPT explains why this is so…
There’s a popular Chinese proverb that reads, “Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will eat for the rest of his life”. The maxim is just as applicable in manufacturing improvement; where too many consultants deliver limited improvement and then leave, without providing a sustainable blueprint for future development.
If the consultancy team begins with the understanding that OEE means both Overall Employee Engagement and Overall Equipment Effectiveness, then the commitment is to both the people and the system. It’s also important to ensure that this commitment is matched by the in-house team.
Making a difference
OEE is a key performance indicator (KPI) combining the percentage measure of three factors: availability, performance and quality of output produced. It is often used to find the point in the process where a 1% improvement can make a crucial difference.
The world class benchmark for OEE is 85%, but most manufacturers only achieve 60-65%. Part of the continuous improvement process is planning and analysing what stops a business meeting this benchmark and what action can be taken to get them closer to it. Best practice is implementing the action, reviewing it, and then starting the process again. The purpose is not only to make improvements but also to minimise the six big production losses:? equipment downtime; losses due to extended changeover times; running at reduced speed; minor stoppages on equipment; rejects due to unacceptable product from new processes; and production rejects.
EmsPT has built a software suite, which, while fundamentally generic, can be tailored to the individual manufacturers’ products and processes.
Data is presented in real time as headline information with high visual impact graphical representation, using a red-amber-green light system. So, if a machine breaks down for example, the border edges of the screen would turn from green to red. This information can be accessed remotely via the web, and it can be made available to others either via Wonderware Information Server or via a company intranet.
OEE status is illustrated on a speedometer-style dial which shows production thresholds against target. For example, 65% and above would show as green, while amber would show between 50 and 65% and below 50% would show red.
An operator can also look at individual dials for each of the three OEE factors: availability, performance and quality of output produced. If performance is lower than it ought to be, this will show up in real time on the performance dial, giving the operator the opportunity to do something about it immediately. Again, cultural commitment is crucial in making this happen.
Order progress is also shown – and this goes hand-in-hand with OEE. For each order, the system shows the start time, the target end time and the projected end time based on the current production rate. If production of the order has to stop at the target time, for example for planned maintenance, the system will show the production shortfall as a percentage of the total required.
The operator can drill down into the software and get information showing specific instances of events that occurred on the production line. However, for the most part, the headline information is enough for the operator to be able to run their production. OEE functionality as part of Wonderware also provides web-based, graphical dynamic reports for historical analysis which can be drilled down into and analysed further.
A real life example would be the pressures on a short shelf-life food manufacturing plant. Supermarkets have very stringent delivery requirements with specific times for specific product. Therefore, the operator needs to be in contact with logistics people and has to be able to take a view on whether to deliver the whole order late or only part of the order – but on time. OEE allows the operator to make decisions in real time in relation to real business pressures.
EmsPT provides the software, technology and services that enable manufacturing facilities to run effectively whilst maintaining conformance achieved MES and manufacturing consulting services. Crucially though, it also provides the tools, knowledge and encouragement needed to ensure that OEE is understood and bought into at every level with the company.
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