Overall Equipment Effectiveness or OEE is arguably the most important metric in the manufacturing industry. This single stat tells you exactly how well your facility is using the resources you have on hand and how you measure up compared to the facilities that your competitors are running. A typical score falls between 40-60%, and 85% is considered the gold standard.
Every plant calculates its OEE, but not all of them make full use of the results. To unlock the full potential of your facility and staff, you need to do more than just measure your OEE and archive the numbers for future reference: You need to take concrete steps to optimize it as much as possible. A real-time operational intelligence (RtOI) software can help you do this.
There are three key steps you can take to better leverage this number’s remarkable power to drive tangible production improvements. Plants that automate real-time data reporting, display the relevant data in a visual format, and promote OEE excellence as an organization-wide goal, are better able to reach their production goals – and by extension, their revenue goals as well.
Key Steps to Leverage OEE with Real-time Data
Step 1: Automating Data Collection
Most factory machines and equipment run on automated cycles and capture production data by default over the course of their operation. However, many facilities fail to take advantage of this easy source of data and still rely on manual reporting by team members to get any production information at all. Data sourced this way is often incomplete, as very few workers will be able to note every single work stoppage or productivity fluctuation.
Automating this task with a modern MES/RtOI software that pulls data directly from your machinery and thus provides a real-time OEE calculation, allows you to reallocate the time your workers spend performing administrative tasks like this. You can then use that time to perform any number of other duties that can help to raise the facility’s OEE.
Perhaps more importantly, however, MES software also guarantees greater data volume, higher accuracy, and better synchronization than manual reporting. This tool gives you access to real-time data on every facet of your production setup, from equipment outages to output levels on each line.
This makes it easy for your supervisors to adjust their directions to suit the changing conditions that might occur over the course of a single shift. If any major disruptions happen, a fix can be implemented almost immediately. This type of data is also detailed enough to give you a high-level look at your production patterns over time, allowing for an in-depth analysis of your facility’s weak points and the causes behind them. The software can even do some of this analysis for you and suggest things you might do to address any ongoing problems it notices.
Step 2: Presenting Data Visually
Visuals make important information easier to understand at a glance, which is critical in the context of the busy and ever-changing factory floor. When your plant’s relevant production data is displayed in a visual format, workers only need to take a few moments of their time to get a quick and accurate update regarding what is going on at the facility at any given time.
Visuals also help to break down language and communication barriers that might otherwise impede your team. Pictures are easy to understand, regardless of language or numeracy skills, and they often use bold and universally understood color codes to pull workers’ attention to things that require immediate intervention (think of a work stoppage alert displayed in red). Visual indicators like progress bars provide an easy rallying point for extra motivation on the shop floor.
MES software automatically translates the data it holds into visual form, providing you with the benefits of this form of communication without requiring any extra work or investment on your part. It also makes it possible for workers to access this information through a multitude of devices, including mobile devices that they can use no matter where they are in the facility.
Step 3: Building a Culture of Positive Change
On its own, OEE is only a number. It’s the actions you take as a result of the insights it shows you that make it valuable. Every member of your organization must understand what this number means and how they can do their part to help improve it.
While C-suite executives are likely to be intimately familiar with the company’s OEE, entry-level shift workers may not realize that even they have some level of influence over key metrics like this. If you teach them what this number represents and use MES software to give them access to the data that is factored into it, you can show them exactly where their efforts are impacting the factory’s overall performance. This gives each individual on your team a level of accountability and lets them know that their contributions have real-world results.
Getting everyone on the same page in terms of production goals helps to multiply the effectiveness of everyone’s efforts. The unity this inspires also improves cohesion and morale inside the plant. For best results, be sure to regularly review the incoming OEE data and use it as the basis for your organization’s upcoming budgeting and development plans. This allows you to allocate resources to your plant’s weak points and continue to strive for further improvements.
Optimize Your Plant’s Efficiency With Real-Time Data
Your facility’s OEE score can be your road map to greater production efficiency and subsequent business success; you just have to know how to use it. MES software is the number-one tool you can use to break down your OEE numbers into actionable insights that you can put to work in both the short and long term to reach your business goals.
Matics is the software solution you need to make this happen. Plants that implement Matics are often able to achieve a 25% increase in OEE, placing them much closer to the critical 85% benchmark. Contact us today to hear more about our MES software solution, its unique functions, and how it can help you create profit-boosting production strategies based on your facility’s valuable internal data.