Frequently asked questions
How can I reduce faults and downtime?
Why is the focus on short stops so important?
Will OEE software resolve my production problem?
Why should we measure and analyse planned downtime?
How can I reduce my conversion time?
How can I reduce my failure costs?
What exactly is OEE?
How can I measure the effectiveness of my machine?
1. How can I reduce faults and downtime?
Firstly, it is important to realise that faults and downtime affect schedules, delivery times, and costs, and also cause frustration. Secondly, it is important that the focus is on those matters that carry the greatest hidden potential. Data are therefore crucial, because they provide transparency and objective information on how a production run has gone and where potential for improvement lies. If that information is available, great savings can be made.
2. Why is the focus on short stops so important?
Short stops are usually characterised by their frequent occurrence, and lead to just a short disruption of the production process (for example, less than three minutes). However, they can be extremely disruptive within a production process. These short stops do not always receive the attention they deserve, because the tendency is mainly to focus on the larger-scale disruptions. That is unjustified. All in all, we see that short stops lead to larger losses in production output and more waste at many production companies. There is often little or no knowledge about the negative effect of the short stops if no measurements are performed. The use of an automated OEE registration system is crucial in dealing with short stops.
3. Will OEE software resolve my production problem?
No, but it will make the problem objectively clear and provides immediate information on where the improvement potential lies. It is still up to the people to then resolve disruptions in order to work towards Operational Excellence. However, this is a good first step, and data can then be translated into specific points for improvement.
4. Why should we measure and analyse planned downtime?
In most cases, a pit stop in a Formula 1 race is a planned stop. It is announced, prepared for, and executed as efficiently as possible. Many hours of training in advance and analyses afterwards ensure that a wing and four tyres can be changed and the fuel tank filled in less than three seconds these days. This comparison makes it clear that constant attention to improvement leads to better output.
5. How can I reduce my conversion time?
As a result of individualisation, production batches are becoming smaller. This has direct consequences for the frequency of conversion. It is logical that companies are increasingly focusing on reducing their conversion time. The SMED method may offer a stepping stone. Some solutions are relatively simple and cheap, while other adjustments require larger investments in terms of time and money. Before major investments are made, it is important to gain good insight into the expected yields of the adjustments. A dynamic planning tool and an OEE registration system can help.
6. How can I reduce my failure costs?
A simple example makes it clear that the earlier traceability and quality controls are built into the production process to prevent errors, the smaller the consequences will be if an error is made. A product recall from shop shelves has a much bigger impact than correcting an error at the start of a production process, both in financial terms and in terms of image. The costs of a control system for raw materials, for example, whereby the system blocks a production run if a non-conformity is detected, are recovered in a very short space of time.
7. What exactly is OEE?
OEE stands for Overall Equipment Effectiveness and means the effective utilisation of machinery. It is an international standard that measures the extent to which machines or production lines actually perform during production compared to their nominal capacity. An OEE percentage is achieved by multiplying the availability of the machine by the speed of production of the machine and the quality of products produced, or A x R x Q.
8. How can I measure the effectiveness of my machine?
The most important thing is that effectiveness is measured. Forms can be a good first step. However, the disadvantage of this is that it often proves time-consuming, incomplete, and unreliable in practice. Nowadays there are very simple automated systems that need just a few hours to provide into the main losses that occur within every production process. These are not only technical faults, but also losses due to people, materials, and the method of production.