Improving the efficiency of manufacturing facilities is on every manufacturer's mind, especially in today's economy. The difficult part is knowing how to improve efficiencies, and determining the areas to concentrate on and the best time to implement such improvements. That’s where overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) comes in. OEE is about learning where and how to improve operations, so that a company can increase profits and gain a competitive edge in the market.
True value of OEE lies in understanding
Monitoring the OEE score on its own is not at all that helpful when you’re looking to improve production efficiency. The true value of OEE comes from understanding the underlying losses: Availability Loss, Performance Loss and Quality Loss. By focusing on these losses, and more importantly, by taking action to reduce these losses, the OEE score will naturally improve. “The mix of passionate staff (operators, process engineers and production preparation team) with the Gemba software has already resulted in better machine efficiency, shorter changeover times, less waste and a smooth production process,” confirms Andrzej Strzelczyk, managing director of PMP Poland.
A trailblazer of efficiency measures
PMP decided to implement Gemba’s OEE dashboard on two of their Heller and DMG/CNC Milling machines some time ago. Since then, assisted by Gemba’s team, PMP has learned how well (or badly) their machines are performing, how to identify production bottlenecks, and how to measure the effect of process improvements. “The operator screens give our operators and the production support team an accurate idea of how the run is going and whether we’re on track to finish production on time,” acknowledges Strzelczyk.
Driver for improvement projects
Implementing software alone is not enough to improve the efficiency of the production in the Polish company. “By recording the machine fault codes, we are able to track the technical reasons for downtime on each of our machines. By defining the main causes, we were able to prevent much of the downtime,” says Strzelczyk. “Additionally, we can use this information to drive improvement projects. We can develop predictive failure alerts, and ultimately we can design and engineer improvements to the products or to the equipment, to prevent any failure at all.”
Real-time alerts and long-term analysis
One of the benefits of Gemba’s software lies in the fact that it combines issuing real-time alerts and enabling long-term analyses. The software is able to record a wide range of parameters. Strzelczyk: “Having the full set of underlying data for our product run results in a higher OEE, better teamwork on the shop floor, and a boost to providing lean manufacturing efforts. We can now take better decisions because the data is accurate, detailed, timely and objective. There’s no need to rely on guesswork, wishful thinking or unsupported assumptions.”