Considerations for Small-Mid Size Manufacturers
You can’t improve upon what you can’t measure. And having made a large investment in industrial automation machines and processes, ideally you want to achieve the maximum return on that investment and have continuous availability of reliable equipment with precision performance. Leveraging OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) solutions are the most efficient way to track your equipment operating levels as well as to discover new ways of improving productivity. Track real-time data, accuracy, capacity, behavior history and more using specially designed IIOT devices to give you the information needed to improve.
Promoting massive benefits, OEE calculation software comes with a substantial price tag. Whereas such an investment may be within the budget for larger manufacturers, for small to mid-size manufacturers, the potential sticker shock may make it hard to see the opportunity for a significant return on investment. For these companies, before dismissing OEE as an opportunity it’s critical to understand the power of OEE and its ability to transform production complexities into easy to understand information.
Assessing Production Health
Do you have detailed knowledge on how well your machines are operating? Such as how many times during a shift a problem arises and how long it takes to resolve the issue? The truth is many machines have micro stoppages that go undetected during planned production time, but when combined, add up to a lot of lost production time. That is huge in smaller factories where every minute of production counts. The best way to cut your losses is to account for stoppages, micro or larger, when calculating your machine’s overall performance.
Identifying Operational Areas of Improvement
Once you understand where your production line is failing, the next step is to learn why it happens. You also must figure out how to make adjustments, so it doesn’t interfere with operations. OEE machine efficiency is calculated by monitoring your machine while operating in prime conditions. It judges the real process of productivity by three basic elements: 1) Availability (A) – how often each machine stays running during planned production time; 2) Performance (P) – how fast each unit is running; and 3) Quality (Q) – are products lost due to machine wear, substandard materials and misfeeds. Using this formula, OEE = AxPxQ, manufacturers can accurately assess the real-time productivity of each machine.
After the initial assessment, you can then begin planning on how to maximize the performance of your machinery. Not only does OEE measure machine efficiency, but it can also help you to apply changes faster that will ensure smooth, on-time production.
Benefits of OEE Solutions to Small and Mid-Size Manufacturers
While fine-tuning production operations is a common goal among manufacturers large or small, investing in OEE solutions as a long-term strategy for continuous improvements has a high implementation cost. To justify the investment, look at a few of the key benefits.
- Optimizing can help increase machine output which can mean a faster return on your investment.
- OEE can give you a leg up against other manufacturers that have yet to take advantage of maximizing system efficiency.
- Process quality is also a big factor when it comes to financial impact. A good OEE process can help you figure out where your quality issues lie, as well as, implement improvements.
- OEE software can also help employees and managers in figuring out how to communicate better with each other and the machines through precise data and information. It gives you the tools necessary to act and prevent production loss.
Implementing Cost-Effective OEE Solutions
By leveraging your current existing automation investment and SCADA, you can layer intuitive software tools on top of your controls network to achieve a cost-effective OEE solution. For small to mid-size manufacturers looking to improve manufacturing efficiency, an OEE investment is a proven method of uncovering your hidden factory – a place of optimal performance where reduced lead times and improved production quality are realized through OEE calculation.
Ready to Uncover Your Hidden Factory? Call us at (866) PLC-GUYS and let’s talk about calculating OEE and improving the efficiency of your manufacturing.