Well known as a formula for determining Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) based on equipment availability, equipment performance, and product quality data, the OEE metric has received a great deal of attention. itself and as part of continuous improvement programs. For example, it has been used in Six Sigma programs to help target and prioritize areas for improvement. While its popularity over the years has gone up and down, it continues to be a very reliable measure for identifying production issues, especially in the discrete and batch manufacturing industries.
Some industry professionals see a broader application of OEE based on the value of the information it can provide. OEEsystems International is a company that promotes the use of OEE for its traditional factory applications as well as for higher-level applications in finance.
“Our goal is to continuously improve and bring change to organizations,” said Andrew Rice, vice president of North American sales for OEEsystems, during a meeting at PACK EXPO East 2022. ‘OEE as a leading business metric by providing data not just to operators, but to finance and other executives. OEE is a tool to change organizational behaviors and we are helping to change that culture by using the OEE to provide a source of truth about line operations to stop the data debate about what data a business should use.
Rice noted that the industry push toward digital transformation has been a major driver of interest in OEEsystems’ PerformOEE Smart Factory software and how OEE can be used to transform manufacturing businesses.
For example, the financial dashboards and analytics provided by the software help tie CapEx to a realistic improvement in OEE, according to Rice. With PerformOEE, users can “measure the factual baseline against improvements and monitor gains on an ongoing basis,” he said. “The Pareto charts generated by the software show the business what costs are associated with all losses. It helps leaders understand the value of even a 1% OEE improvement on a machine, line, and process, and how it can be attributed to the entire organization. business. It also helps users develop more accurate ROI schedules. »
Jim Huysentruyt, project manager at OEEsystems, explained that the data used by the PerformOEE software is collected from PLCs via OPC UA. The software “tells operators what needs fixing, whether it’s equipment or operating processes,” he said. “Pareto Charts [in the software] show users what’s going on with downtime, scheduling, breaks, equipment rotations, and setup. »
The software runs on a server that can be located on a machine at the edge or in the cloud, Huysentruyt said; and it can interface with SAP or another enterprise system to provide analytics to executives.
Huysentruyt added that once Perform OEE software is installed, OEESystems trains users in what it calls the “Science of Manufacturing” – a set of principles combining technical innovation with a focus on people and culture to delivering successful continuous improvement programs.
The main functions of PerformOEE include:
- Automation of data recording, including downtime, to eliminate manual recording of shift information.
- Enable the opening and closing of preventive and corrective actions as well as the reassignment of downtime root causes based on insights gained from operations.
- Enable collaboration between team members in shift logs to trigger corrective and preventive actions. Issues can be escalated within and between shifts.
- Make data searchable when changing shifts and for daily production reviews.
- Provide real-time quality information and alerts (such as rejects and alarms).
- Categorization of data collected by reason and function to feed analysis and trend reports.
- Tracking and setting alerts based on user-defined quality rules for continuous process control.