OEE – Overall Equipment Effectiveness – Houston we have a problem!

Those now famous words from the astronauts aboard the Apollo 13 Moon mission!  Two important things are knowing you have a problem and the second is what can you do about it.  The Breakdown and calculation of metric OEE – Overall Equipment Effectiveness is a very important part of knowing that a problem exists and in what area or areas are the problems the greatest – Availability, Performance or Quality!

Let’s quickly take a look at these three areas and what they mean:

Availability – is the difference between the planned production time less un-planned downtime.

Performance – is in simple terms did production match theoretical production.  Did I make everything I could with the time available?

Quality – of what I produced, how many defects or rework products did I make?

So with this information you can then calculate the OEE for a process.  Now what?  You know there are areas of concern or opportunities for improvement, so what do you do next?  Knowing the numbers is just the start of the improvement process.  The level of detail information you have in each area is critical to understanding and addressing these problems.

In terms of Availability, it is important to track the individual root causes, operating conditions as well as duration of an event.  Each event must be Quantified – duration like minutes down as well as Qualified – Root Cause but just as important relevant information at the time of the stop.  Items like team, shift, line, product, customer, type of event – electrical , mechanical or operational etc.  These all become very important information for understanding and eliminating events in the future.

The Quality Window product key features are the easy, rapid and detail collection of important information.  This information is first used to calculate OEE and then the powerful analytical tools that can be brought to bear to understand and eliminate these costly losses.

Performance monitoring is strategic in two ways. First in watching on a timely basis the critical variables in your process to ensure they are constant and within tolerances.  The second is recognizing that what you learn from analyzing outages like downtime or defects needs to become part of the performance monitoring to ensure they do not happen again.

The performance monitoring features of Quality Window make this a simple and proven way of working for minimizing variation and running to optimum target.  The setting of Targets, Control and Specification limits along with the use of custom Rule Violations (summary screen) provide a proven methodology for monitoring performance issues.  Also, the “rapid change” capability of the Quality Window Setup utility ensures that as quickly as changes occur on the shop floor, Quality Window Applications can keep pace.

Quality issues are similar to Downtime tracking as they are event based data.  The important part of this data collection is the accuracy of identifying the defect as well as the support information like product and raw material customer.  The important rule for event analysis is that if you don’t collect the data when it happens, it will not be available when you analyze the data later.

Quality Window provides the filtering capabilities and intuitive displays of information to carryout detail analysis of these problems and with work through other applications like the monitoring of Performance variables to provide the level of understanding necessary to root out and eliminate the issues that are affecting your OEE results.

There is a simple example of calculating OEE included with the sample applications that accompany the Quality Window 5 product.  The application is the Process Downtime Tracking example and it includes the entry of Production and Quality results to determine OEE for a specific shift.  To view it, just call up the application form the Begin Screen menu and then use the up or down arrows or mouse to position the cursor within the Logsheet.  This will select a specific shift.  Now just go up to the Macros menu on the tool bar near the top of the screen and select the “Calculate OEE by Shift”  The following report will be displayed.

The most important point to keep in mind when using metrics like OEE is that totals tell you you have a problem but to eliminate these problems you need accurate detail data.  Quality Window provides the ability to easily and accurately collect the necessary data to calculate the metrics as well as the tools for improving the numbers over time.

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