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There is every sign that competition will continue to put the squeeze on manufacturers, even while demands for quality products and faster processes increase. Raw material costs are also rising, and manufacturers are searching for every possible way to weather increasing uncertainty and generate profit. And as it turns out, the answers to the question of how to survive in an ultra-competitive global market might lie a lot closer to home than many realize.
Overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) is a critical metric for manufacturing plants to track. With proper, consistent measurement, this metric allows plant managers to track the overall performance of their facilities and determine the root cause behind line interruptions, unplanned downtime, quality rejections, and equipment problems. This root cause analysis saves manufacturing teams significant time and effort. Smart and sophisticated trend analysis through OEE software can uncover what might take weeks to diagnose. Here’s what you need to know about deploying this powerful solution in your plant.
Since the 1970s, an increasing number of manufacturers have used the three components of availability, performance, and quality to calculate the overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) for determining how well a process is running. OEE is also used to identify areas of improvement. Understandably, most manufacturers target the more prominent areas of concern, which will generate a more dramatic or marked improvement.
Although many manufacturers have implemented overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) over the last few decades, not every facility has embraced it effectively. Often facilities either knowingly or unknowingly neglect or overemphasize one of the three essential components of OEE. Manufacturers apply OEE inconsistently, include too much, or exclude unpleasant data. When used correctly, OEE is an excellent resource for driving continuous improvement in manufacturing facilities. Facilities that are struggling to meet goals or seeking to move up a few extra percentage points can gain the edge they need by returning to basics and evaluating processes honestly.
Translating Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) into financial terms allows everyone from the plant floor operators to executives, measure continuous improvement and understand the business value of OEE. The challenge is making this a reality. This blog will dive into what it means to measure OEE, why you should translate that into financial terms, why OEE is important, and finally what role software plays.
Many plants are looking for ways to create more efficient processes and develop strategies to better compete with others in the industry. For many, this desire to improve means moving away from traditional manufacturing. It can be a little uncomfortable to look for ways to change when things seem to be working just fine already. However, sticking with processes because “that’s the way we’ve always done them” can work against driving continuous improvement. That’s where implementing OEE comes in.
At its core, manufacturing success is all about quality. Consistently adhering to quality standards ultimately delights your customers and takes you far beyond the benefits of brand loyalty. Determining the cost of quality (COQ) is a complex but essential endeavor; there’s the cost of poor quality to consider and the cost of good quality or preventing issues from happening in the first place. In plants producing hundreds of separate items, tracking the many variables that influence quality can feel like a massive undertaking. And of course, it’s not just tracking this information that facilitates change; the goal is to derive meaningful insights from the data to inform future decisions.
In many areas of the U.S., businesses are reopening and companies are finding ways to adjust to new operational norms in this second phase of COVID-19. For food and beverage companies, there are many complexities to consider. While many things within manufacturing companies are changing, priorities such as safety and quality remain as important as ever.
To balance these priorities while adjusting to the evolving expectations of customers and employees, many companies are embracing remote operations. Although there are aspects of manufacturing which can’t be conducted offsite, with the right technology, a significant portion of business can be taken out of the facility. With this approach, companies can minimize the number of people entering and exiting the plant to control risks, keep employees satisfied, and respond to customer demands through new, automated solutions.