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What OEE Monitoring Software Can Do for Manufacturers

Posted on March 5, 2020 by Ann Grace

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OEE monitoring software is a powerful, innovative technology designed to meet the most significant challenges faced by manufacturing companies. It measures overall equipment effectiveness, or OEE, to give facilities a clear understanding of how their machines are operating against expectations. Yet, it goes much further than simply analyzing machine performance—it also provides powerful insights into operations across specific lines, batches, and shifts to help you uncover inefficiencies and determine where you’re excelling.

Many manufacturing facilities use key performance indicators (KPIs) to help them track progress towards goals. OEE monitoring software simplifies this process while allowing manufacturers to proactively increase production line capacity, speed, and quality, thanks to its easy-to-use, cloud-based capabilities.

Take a closer look at what OEE monitoring software could do for your company below.

Monitor KPIs

There are at least two dozen KPIs manufacturers should consider tracking, but as Industry Week notes, most companies struggle to track just two or three consistently. Without the ability to accurately and continuously measure key metrics, it’s impossible to tell whether your operations are improving, suffering, or simply allowing you to stay afloat.

While the number of KPIs you decide to track will ultimately depend on your company’s unique needs, there are a few non-negotiable metrics you should always be monitoring. These include:

  • Units produced vs. maximum potential output (capacity utilization)
  • Actual production speed vs. optimal production speed (performance)
  • Actual run time vs. total operational time (availability)
  • Good products versus total product output (quality)
  • Number of good units versus those that need rework (yield)

OEE manufacturing software allows you to track these KPIs and others, both in real-time and for a historical analysis. In doing so, it empowers you to act on critical issues that could have otherwise gone overlooked.

Moreover, OEE itself can be used as a KPI. It provides a high-level overview of production by encompassing quality, performance, and availability in one comprehensive equation. This helps manufacturers monitor performance at a glance, while the software’s reporting capabilities allow for drill-downs into more detailed KPIs to identify potential problem areas that must be addressed.

Proactively Increase Performance Across Production Lines

Through ongoing monitoring of your facility’s most critical KPIs, OEE allows you to drive performance across your production lines. OEE monitoring software can also help you do a root cause analysis to identify production problems. Here are just a few of other, powerful ways it can help you improve.

Capacity

Capacity is the maximum number of parts or products that can be produced by your manufacturing operation. It can be influenced by several factors, including workforce productivity and equipment performance.

Oftentimes, equipment isn’t used to its full capacity in manufacturing environments. Companies may look to buy new equipment or use additional shifts to increase their capacity, despite the fact that there’s already significant potential to drive capacity with existing operations. Snags like small stops, system malfunctions, and time spent on setup and adjustment can all impact capacity. Through OEE software, you can determine exactly where you’re losing the most time, and thus, which activities are creating the greatest impact on capacity.

Speed

When equipment runs below its maximum potential speed, it causes you to lose out on production time. Speed loss is one of the most overlooked problems in manufacturing since many companies perceive a certain degree to be allowable and continue to struggle with addressing it. Still, speed-related issues reduce capacity by 9-15%, so addressing them is important to improving overall equipment effectiveness.

OEE software looks closely at speed and allows you to determine where your greatest inefficiencies lie. While speed loss has historically been considered challenging to address, this is largely due to the fact that manufacturers couldn’t identify precisely where it was coming from. Armed with this knowledge, you can deploy practices to increase the speed of your lines and equipment where appropriate. 

Quality

In an ideal world, manufacturers would maintain a quality score of 100% by producing only good parts all the time. Yet, rejects that occur both upon startup and during production are inevitable for most companies.

That doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement, however. OEE monitoring software presents a detailed look into quality measures to help you unlock patterns and determine the greatest sources of quality loss.

Maximize Equipment Performance

Of course, one of the most powerful features of OEE solutions is their ability to help you determine which equipment is underperforming. Whether it’s due to frequent breakdowns, lagging operator performance, or another factor, you can address the performance issues across your facility with a direct line of sight into when and where they’re happening.

 Clearly, this technology is the key factor that could separate leading manufacturers from the laggards in today’s competitive landscape. If you’re ready for a closer, insider’s look into what OEE monitoring software can do for you, contact us for a free demo.

Learn More About Our OEE Software

If you’re ready to see what OEE Monitoring Software can do for you, allow us to help. SafetyChain has designed an OEE solution specifically with the key needs of food and beverage companies in mind. Get in touch for a demo to explore our solution and see how our plant management system can help your facility overcome its greatest challenges.