Equipment Efficiency: Measure for Improvement

In today's global marketplace, organizations have to compete in an increasingly competitive and fast-paced environment where delivery quality and speed are essential. Any unexpected failure and production stoppage can mean a customer's failure to meet a deadline, with repercussions in terms of lost revenue.

In order to avoid production failures, a proper Maintenance Management System is essential to improve the overall efficiency of the organization. The goal is to maintain production continuity and avoid costly unplanned downtime.

As Peter Drucker put it, "you can only manage what you can measure." In other words, to make a correct management, it is necessary to have metrics that can evaluate the efficiency of the use of each equipment, such as Overall Equipment Effectiveness - OEE.

This metric acquires major importance in business context, especially in the sectors of continuous production, with high capital investment in equipment and significant energy consumption.

The OEE is the most used indicator to compare the efficiency of equipment and even production units, for benchmark purposes. It is calculated by the quotient between the quantity produced and the maximum theoretical quantity. The fact that it is not an absolute measure can immediately quantify the potential for improvement.

However, it can also be calculated using three main components: Availability, Yield and Quality.

The Availability component represents the percentage of time the equipment has been working, compared to the opening time - total time available to be used. This component of the OEE reflects all unplanned outages recorded during the opening time, such as malfunctions, product changes or cleaning. In the Investor's perspective, the opening time also includes planned stops, related to the period of operation, preventive maintenance, variation of demand, among others.

The Yield component consists of comparing the produced parts with the parts that, at the theoretical maximum speed, the equipment has the capacity to produce during the time available. Thus, the main causes of loss of income are low cadences, idle cycles and micro stops.

Finally, the Quality component translates the percentage of conforming parts to those produced.

By measuring OEE, we are gaining insight into how we can systematically improve equipment efficiency. Ideally, an organization's OEE approaches 100%, which means that it produces with quality as fast as possible without unplanned downtime.

Kaizen Institute is a multinational company that supports organizations in the design and implementation of processes that enable continuous improvement in a sustained manner.

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