Knowledge is key for survival in the global economy. OEE empowers the production process with relevant and useful information in a compact and simple way. However, a composite metric, means very little if it isn’t available when it is needed. OEE data loses a lot of its usefulness if you can only utilize it in tomorrow’s meeting.
You drive a wedge between you and greater process productivity if you can’t utilize OEE results on a real-time, minute by minute, event by event basis. More importantly, OEE data needs to be available to all relevant personnel as and when they need it. Simply put, real time OEE is a precursor to realization of immediate process productivity improvements.
Automating the OEE Data Collection and Calculation Process
Real time OEE is implemented by first automating the OEE data collection and calculation process. Manual OEE data collection is subject to human error and lapses. As the number of monitored machines increase OEE data collection becomes a gargantuan task requiring enormous amount of effort and time. Manual OEE is inconsistent with the principles of lean manufacturing of waste minimization.
Automatic data collection will give you more time for analysis and improvement. Process personnel including machine operators will now only monitor and improve their process in real time throughout the day. High-speed production lines and other automated machines are easily integrated with automatic data collection capabilities while machines without automation can be equipped with a simple automatic data collection system.
Visibility of Data
The next key component of real-time OEE is visibility of data. This is achieved by use of visual display monitors strategically located within the plant floor where Real time OEE results are displayed. These results track the current state of the production process. Machine operators monitor process data on a first hand basis, enabling them to react to the information displayed on the plant floor anywhere within the manufacturing plant. Such visibility of the OEE metrics allows the whole plant to be involved in improving OEE.
Automatic OEE data collection, calculation, analysis and visual presentation are facilitated by a software backbone. The OEE software controls every aspect of the OEE process. OEE software is designed with a range of communication protocols making integration, communication and information sharing with a host of process hardware seamless.
OEE software has full networking capacity and is easily deployed within a company network. It’s also capable of integration with other software including high level IT systems .Most OEE software have readymade modules that reduce the task of customization to suit the uniqueness of each manufacturing entity. The software presents the right balance between ready-made modules and flexible configuration.
OEE software affects all three of the OEE contributing factors. It is at the core of the system designed to improve equipment efficiency. OEE software provides complete data handling capabilities including:
- Real-time OEE and historical presentation.
- Process visualization.
- Event logging.
- Monitoring planned maintenance etc.
The software provides a platform for data analysis and can be used to implement programs designed to increase all three OEE metrics such as six sigma programs. OEE real-time data that track the common loss factors that affect availability, performance and quality is used to effect real-time changes on automated production hardware targeted towards minimizing these losses. Synchronized machine operations, varying machine parameters to reduce change overtimes, alarm management among other examples.