OEE (overall equipment effectiveness) software grabs measurements of machine availability, throughput, and quality and turns it into a score that grades your manufacturing performance. This OEE score is considered a key performance indicator (KPI). These KPIs can be configured with alarms and analyzed to ensure maximum production on your manufacturing shop floor. Examples of data captured include downtime, counters, design speeds, and contextual data.
OEE systems help implement a continuous improvement cycle into your business and helps measure equipment effectiveness by identifying the ratio of fully productive time to planned production time to determine the lost time. OEE is a method of measuring the improvement potential of your production process. OEE is calculated by:
Availability X Throughput (Performance) X Quality = OEE
The goal of overall equipment effectiveness software is to help eliminate waste and implement a lean manufacturing process. OEE solutions can be applied to discrete manufacturing processes (most common) as well as continuous processes. OEE data can be entered manually via PC or mobile smartphones (such as Apple iPhones or Android devices), imported from gauges, or from Excel imports.
OEE software works very closely with MES software in a manufacturing environment. This is because MES applications allow decision-makers to use OEE to their advantage through reports, Pareto charts, and a corporate overview of performance. Those with more manual processes (and thus, no MES system in place) may want to consider OLE (overall labor effectiveness), which helps measure how effective your workforce is through their productivity levels (such as how much they are producing per day).
OEE software is an incredibly valuable tool that management can use to uncover capacity they didn’t think possible, which will help lower production times and/or reduce overtime expenditures. This type of production tracking software has a number of benefits your business can take advantage of. Some of the top benefits of OEE software include:
Downtime can be defined as an event that occurs for a long enough period that a reason is assigned for the occurrence. Downtime is one of the leading reasons a manufacturing plant may have poor overall equipment effectiveness. This is because downtime takes away from valuable planned production time. Without good insight into where this downtime is coming from, and why it’s happening, it can be difficult to fix.
OEE software will help collect the lifecycle performance of your manufacturing equipment. This will help find, fix, and improve downtime–no matter how big or small. Even the tiniest of variations in overall equipment effectiveness will have an effect on the business performance of your manufacturing plant.
The condition-monitoring data provided by OEE solutions can help you schedule and handle any events or needed response to issues on your plant floor. This complete visibility into your operations will help you maximize the availability of your machinery and production line, and ensure you can increase production whenever possible.
Many manufacturers will pride themselves on the quality of the items they are producing. A high-quality product can be one of the key reasons you receive return business from your customers. This puts huge importance on ensuring your cost of quality stays at an appropriate level.
Cost of quality, or COQ, can be described through a number of varying costs involved in production:
These hidden costs can be hard to detect but greatly affect machine priority. OEE software is intended to eliminate these weaknesses in your quality management process.
OEE is a great metric to identify if you are incurring losses in your manufacturing operations. Most job costing software will track your material costs, labor costs, and overhead costs. Once you improve the quality of your product, you’ll see the greatest return. This is because all cost elements are impacted by quality. When you incur a quality loss then you have to consider how many goods you’ll need to produce in order to offset the lost costs.
A quick way to improve your manufacturing performance is by focusing on top losses, which is the smallest set of improvement actions that will yield the biggest results. In other words, it’s the low-hanging fruit of your production processes.
Top losses reports can be created with OEE software. These reports show sources of lost production time and show any increase in rates the loss is responsible for. As long as your team has an idea of where their top losses are (data provided by a top-notch OEE system), then your team will be able to take the appropriate actions and minimize the number of resources that are affected.
An example of appropriate actions to take include improvement cycles, an improvement of scheduling, improved procurement practices, and better shop floor management.
Overall equipment effectiveness software ties in closely with statistical process control (SPC) software:
Data from OEE systems give insight into your manufacturing performance and can help reduce costs by ensuring you get the most use out of your equipment and facilities. SPC data is used to identify product quality issues and process variations and allows management to take corrective action before issues occur.
There are many benefits to applying SPC to OEE data. According to Northwest Analytics, a manufacturing analytics provider:
An isolated OEE value provides only a small amount of decision support. The single value can be compared to a specification, but it does not provide any indication of previous process behavior and reasonable expectations for future performance. When put into context with SPC, that same OEE delivers substantially greater process management information. “Combine OEE and SPC for Real Decision Support” - Northwest Analytics
Some real-life examples of their combined effectiveness include: