Don't Let OEE be a Buzzword

With a new term, acronym or buzzword making its way through our language daily, it is hard to keep everything straight. Whereas some terms we really should filter out (looking at you YOLO…) some industry concepts are critical for us to understand exactly what they mean and how they affect our production environment. This goes for both manufacturers and their service partners. One of these concepts is OEE or Overall Equipment Effectiveness. Too often, coding and marking suppliers take a few words from the OEE platform to show their industry savvy while having no real substance or emphasis on what it truly means and why it is important to their clients. Take for example the popular word “uptime,” which doesn’t take into consideration performance or quality. Yet – you will find the entire value proposition tied to it.

So what is OEE?

OEE is a metric calculated by multiplying the three OEE factors of availability, performance and quality.

AVAILABILITY = run time / planned production time

QUALITY = planned production time - stop time

PERFORMANCE = (ideal cycle time - total count) / run time

OEE

As we work to identify OEE related issues, the identification of the six big losses helps categorize our data collection points.

  • Losses impacting the availability factor are machine stops either planned or unplanned
  • Losses impacting the quality factor are production rejects and start up rejects
  • Losses impacting the performance factor are small stops and slow cycle

As data is collected either manually or automatically, it must be analyzed on a regular cadence and corrective action taken toward improvement.

Why should you care about OEE?

OEE breaks overall line performance down to measurable activities like unplanned stops and production rejects and then provides a formula to quantify these activities into a single metric which can be tracked over time. This metric, combined with timely preventative maintenance, can provide a strong and standardized improvement platform which can be communicated from line operators to upper management. For companies with inkjet, laser, DoD or label printing experience – achieving a high OEE% is often very difficult; for those without, it can seem unachievable. However, companies cannot ignore the immense importance of effective operations on the bottom or top time as well as reputation.

Why is OEE important to us?

It is important for any equipment or consumable provider with a place on your production line to realize that we are only one cog in the machine. It is our responsibility to provide you with the tools necessary to prevent our piece of the puzzle, no matter how small, from decreasing your OEE%. Your effectiveness is your reputation and in turn our reputation.

In summary, OEE is a metric that everyone in your organization should know and always be striving to improve. This should extend to suppliers and companies in contact with your facility. Performance metrics, including OEE, should be your language and your partners should be fluent.

Interested in discussing how to improve OEE starting with your coding and marking operations? Fill out the form below to speak with a Coding and Marking Specialist or call 936-856-6600 and press 3.

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