How to use OEE machine monitoring to maximize your production
Industry 4.0 technology allows us to monitor production equipment like never before. Especially OEE monitoring makes your production more transparant and enables your to recognize problem areas as they occur.
One of the major challenges for a manufacturing company is knowing exactly what is happening on the production floor. Many companies have a fair idea of the amount of downtime, but only a few are able to explain the reasons and lengths of the stops in their production. As a result, productivity in many manufacturing companies suffers.
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Luckily, a solution is closer than you may think. By monitoring your production equipment, you can collect critical data providing you with real-time information about your production. Immediately after starting the monitoring, you will be able to spot obvious reasons for downtime. With time, you will have collected enough data to be able to improve your production performance.
A key to continuous improvements
The most commonly used way to measure productivity is by means of OEE – Overall Equipment Effectiveness. OEE is the key to achieving continuous improvements as it will help you identify gaps and understand the problem areas of your production processes.
OEE is a method for detecting the problems of your production. However, error detection is per se not valuable. To benefit from the OEE monitoring, you must be willing to act accordingly. You will achieve the highest increase in production efficiency if you make one or more employees responsible for improving the problem areas of your production.
OEE = availability x performance x quality
To put if briefly, OEE is a method for measuring the efficiency of a machine. OEE is a percentage calculation of the availability, performance and quality of a machine.
You can calculate the availability of your production by comparing the actual uptime with the planned uptime. By recording the number and length of production stops, you will find out how much of a production cycle that is active production time. Even though your machine is running 24 hours a day, the active production time will always be shorter due to factors such as maintenance, cleaning and errors. If you are aware of the reasons for the downtime, you will be able to plan your production better and reduce the length of unplanned downtime.
Many little things add up to a lot! Therefore, you must include all production downtime in your analysis – as insignificant as it may seem. Production performance is a measurement of the speed at which products are produced in a production cycle. You can calculate the performance by dividing the average production time of a part by the ideal production time of a part. The performance of the machine increases with the number of parts produced within a certain period of time. Idle running, minor stops and reduced production speed are some of the factors that are reflected in the performance and consequently affect the number of parts produced by the machine in question.
The performance of your machine may be high while the quality of the parts produced is low. Quality refers to the amount of the parts produced that are of high quality. High-quality parts are ready for sale or for being part of another production. The parts that are rejected in a production cycle affect the quality of a machine measured in percentage. Low quality may be caused by process errors, faults in the machine settings or incorrect handling of equipment.
OEE and machine monitoring
By monitoring your machines and detecting the problems of your production, you will be able to substantially improve availability, performance and quality. OEE will enable you to make fast and fact-based decisions on the improvement of your production. You will increase the utilization of your production machinery as downtime is reduced, the number of products produced are increased and quality is improved. In many cases, this will lead to a 10-15% increase in profits.
The first and most important step if you want to improve the OEE of your production is to integrate a system that can monitor your machines. Your production will become much more transparent and you will be able to highlight problem areas and find efficient solutions. The OEE extension available with the DIAP platform will enable you to determine the existing OEE of your production and to identify areas of improvement.
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