There is an increasing need to collect real-time production data in industries of all types, and even more so in the manufacturing sector, in order to identify and remove causes of inefficiency to reduce waste and thus improve productivity. This can be done when you have the appropriate tools that can collect and analyze production data quickly and accurately. Tools that can help you identify the root causes of inefficiency and once eliminated will bring your actual productivity closer to the theoretical one.
The reality of productivity does not always live up to our expectations due to unforeseeable circumstances that concern inevitable scheduled production downtimes that may be caused by staff shortage or maintenance, or unscheduled downtimes that may be due to unexpected system failure or malfunctioning, or an increase in rejected products. These problems are mostly caused by machine inefficiencies which can be measured using the Overall Equipment Effectiveness metrics (OEE). The conditions that cause these problems are called ‘equipment-related losses’.
The OEE uses three principle measurable components to obtain the equipment-related losses:
- Availability: losses due to downtimes
- Quality: losses due to process defects
- Performance: losses due to slack productivity
These three components account for all the causes of production loss as well as unexpected downtimes that are not caused by failure but set up, change of production, scheduled maintenance, meetings, holidays, strikes and other causes. Some machine malfunctions are alerted directly and automatically using an alarm system. While others are left to the discretion of the operator to stop production so as to avoid further downtimes due to unclassified causes.
Being efficient means having an information management system that is capable of collecting the real-time data needed to calculate the Key Performance Indicators (KPI) of your productivity. This will allow you to assess your productivity index at any given time and the causes effecting the real capacity of your manufacturing processes.