Overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) is a framework for measuring the effectiveness and efficiency of a manufacturing process. OEE provides a management tool that helps monitor and improve diverse manufacturing processes.

It does this by evaluation of three measurement metrics:

  • Availability
  • Performance
  • Quality

The OEE metrics places focus on improvement by increasing the visibility of losses within the process and quantifying them. OEE is guided by the principle of management through effective measurement and increasing process efficiency through elimination of all losses in the process. The OEE Wikipedia lists OEE as one the most commonly used Key Performance indicators (KPI) of success in manufacturing processes.


OEE places emphasis on collection of precise information and visibility of real-time activities in manufacturing processes. This is borne from the realization of dynamism in the production environment and the preference for quick resolution to problems encountered.

Effort and emphasis is not placed in finding the root cause of these recurring problems. The biggest hindrance to addressing the root causes is a lack of information. Everybody is too busy to backtrack through events analyzing what precipitated the problem. With OEE, visibility is given to root causes making each deficiency an opportunity for increased productivity and efficiency.

OEE offers a means of controlling the whole production process by analyzing results from the totality of events. More often than not, production inefficiencies and stoppages are blamed on equipment failure. However, this is not always the case. The production cycle involves a multiplicity of influences and a combination of any of these can trigger a production stop. OEE will provide information on the root cause of production inefficiency and thus lead to a targeted resolution, concentrating effort where it has the greatest impact.


i)     One of the notable benefits of OEE that has led to its widespread adoption is the efficient and effective usage of existing equipment and facilities. OEE helps industries produce more without investing in new production capacity. It does this by reducing downtime, minimizing setup time and improving operator performance.OEE is mainly targeted towards the best possible production process, increased profitability and promoting economic survival.


ii)     OEE provides full awareness of the real time activities taking place on the shop floor. Its emphasis on visibility gives a true picture of the current state of the production process. OEE offers a powerful control tool. Using OEE, underlying problems of production deficiencies and manufacturing performance constrains, are not only uncovered, but ranked according to the most important, wherever they occur.  Precise information is available to support decisive action.


iii)     OEE helps you visualize performance in simple terms. It does this by taking the most recurrent and important sources of productivity losses, assigning them into three important categories of availability, performance and quality and then filtering them into a single metric that, at a glance, shows you where you currently stand and how to improve. The constituent indicators of OEE are themselves useful within changing situation.


iv)     OEE works and speaks for everyone. Information provided is targeted to every level of the production process: from the shop floor team right up to the top level management. OEE information is insightful and triggers teams to improvement action: for shop level teams it fosters group problem solving and healthy competition among teams. It enables top level management to focus on areas that will yield the greatest returns. Positive action at all levels boosts morale and develops positive attitude and self belief.


Today’s manufacturing environment demands lean and extremely efficient production processes. The bar of performance is continually rising. Competition is on a global scale. Uptake of lean best practice by manufacturers is on an upward trend. Competition certainly will increase. Manufacturers’ wishing to retain their cutting edge competitiveness on this global playing field must fully embrace OEE in their production process. OEE, after all, is the industry norm for viable manufacturing.