Answered July 28 2019
Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) is a best-practice measure of productivity within manufacturing. It looks at the quality of the end products, performance of manufacturing processes, and availability of assets to create an OEE score. This score can then be compared with other companies or used as a benchmark to improve manufacturing processes overall.
By using OEE as a benchmark, as part of a lean manufacturing initiative, or as a KPI within Industry 4.0, you can identify your underlying losses, eliminate waste, and discover ways to improve your production processes.
OEE helps you measure real-time condition monitoring, which collects data from sensors and other sources to trigger predictive maintenance orders. Decreasing downtime through detailed data analysis can increase the availability of assets component of OEE. When a facility has ready access to its asset performance data and ongoing maintenance records, it can respond faster and more efficiently to work order requests and schedule preventive maintenance tasks to improve product quality and manufacturing performance.
Although OEE is an extremely useful measure, it cannot be an absolute one. Instead, it provides a broad scope of how performance improvements may be working or not working. For example, if a company prioritizes reducing its cycle time, its OEE score will increase because this organization will be able to produce more items using fewer resources.
However, if you’re comparing one company that manufacturers only a handful of products at a high volume against another company that produces customized products at a low volume, the OEE score alone may not be the best measure. The latter company will need to stop and start their processes more than the former because of the customized product offering. However, if the customization company can charge a high price for the unique product, the frequent change-overs and lower OEE may be warranted.
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