One of the most important things to understand about OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) is that it isn’t the “means to an end” that a lot of people assume it to be. Yes, understanding your manufacturing business’ relationship between quality, performance, and availability is always important. But just because you’re comfortable with your initial OEE score doesn’t mean the journey is over.
In many ways, it’s just beginning.
With the right OEE software by your side, this process can unlock a wealth of insight you wouldn’t otherwise have access to. That’s step one. Step two involves taking that insight and putting it into practice, capitalizing on opportunities for continuous improvement all the while.
Machine Downtime Tracking: Your Next Steps
For the sake of example, let’s consider all this within the context of a pain point that most manufacturers share: unplanned equipment downtime.
According to one recent study, when all factors are considered, manufacturing downtime costs approximately $260,000 per hour on average. Now, let’s say you’ve started tracking OEE and arrive at what is an objectively “acceptable” score right out of the gate. Even if “availability” isn’t your issue, you must understand that there are always ways to make things better, faster, and more efficient if you’re willing to look for them.
Maybe there is a deeper relationship between equipment failures and parts that need to be scrapped that you were unaware of. Maybe if you did address your availability problems, it would cause an appreciable uptick in your performance.
The point is, there’s a reason why OEE tracking isn’t something that you “do once and forget about.” Even if you’re happy with the way things are going today, that doesn’t mean things couldn’t be going even better tomorrow. It can’t just be seen as a time-consuming “cost of doing business.” You need to see it as a legitimate part of your company’s culture to improve value as much as you can.
With regard to the idea of downtime tracking in particular, this example would outline why even an organization like yours needs a robust predictive maintenance program. At the very least, you can make the shift from unplanned equipment failures to planned downtime. You’re not waiting for something to break so that you can react to it – you’re being proactive about taking corrective measures whenever possible.
So even though you went into this scenario thinking that availability was not your issue at all, an improvement in one area absolutely has a positive impact in others. Not only do you save tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars on average by cutting down on instances of unplanned downtime, but you also get to continue to improve your OEE score as well.
If you’d like to find out more information about how to take the insight you’re gaining from OEE software and apply it in the best possible way, or if you’d just like to talk to someone about your own machine downtime tracking needs in a bit more detail, please don’t hesitate to contact the team at Thrive today.