The Power of OEE Data Collection Software

Sara Perrin
Contributing Writer

Across all manufacturing environments, there’s a push for greater efficiency and reduced downtime, both of which are essential to maintaining and increasing profits. While most manufacturers have a general idea of how to drive production improvements, drilling down and understanding the true barriers to efficiency isn’t always clear. In fact, there’s often little visibility into the root causes of production disruptions, whether they stem from drawn-out changeover processes, faulty equipment, or other hidden bottlenecks. For this reason, many manufacturers have turned to OEE data collection software to increase productivity and improve yields.

Forward-thinking companies are leveraging OEE data collection software to digitally collect data and analyze the performance of their plants in real time. Much of the data collection process can be automated, and by using OEE software, Production Managers no longer need to rely on spreadsheets, making it far easier to measure and interpret OEE. 

A Closer Look at the Data Collected Used to Calculate OEE

OEE is a composite calculation which takes into consideration measures of quality, performance, and availability. When measured regularly, OEE gives manufacturers the data-driven insights they need to improve performance across the entire plant, and for specific lines, shifts, and machines.

In its most basic form, the calculation for OEE is as follows:

Availability (actual run time/total operational time)

Performance (actual speed/optimal speed)

Quality (good product/total product output)

If only good parts were to be produced all-the-time at the top possible speed without any interruptions, a facility’s OEE would be 100%. Yet, it’s more realistic for most facilities to aim closer to the 70 to 80% range.

With that being said, there’s always room for improvement. Identifying and acting on areas where performance, quality, and availability enhancements can be made is the core purpose of tracking OEE.

The Case for Tracking OEE

Understandably, no plant can run at peak capacity all the time. There are countless factors which impede productivity and cause lags. While you might already have a general understanding of where some of these inefficiencies lie, chances are there are also many other gaps being overlooked – and while they may seem small on the surface, collectively, they can have a significant impact on production and profitability. This is simply the nature of manufacturing, and it’s an issue companies have contended with for decades.

Fortunately, OEE data collection software enables the broadest possible collection and analysis of data points across your facility. It can capture information from a vast range of sensors in real time, compiling the information for tangible insights. As a result, you’ll have the power to perform root cause analyses, receive alerts when an issue needs prompt attention, and continue to improve your plant’s performance over time.

Because OEE software can rapidly collect and process incoming data, it identifies bottlenecks quicker and more efficiently than humans ever could. With facility-wide reporting, it can also allow you to compare shifts, lines, and machines to see which are performing well and which may need extra attention. 

To learn how tracking OEE can specifically help companies, see our post on What OEE monitoring software can do for manufacturers.

More Than Just Data Collection

Data collection is indeed an important component of OEE software. After all, no facility has the manpower or time to track every data point from every sensor in their facility on a continuous basis. By introducing software, you can eliminate paper, access insights from any device, and free up time for your staff. Key operational insights are collected from every line, shift, and plant, and made accessible in a single, convenient solution.

Yet, the real power of OEE software goes beyond data collection alone. Since it’s what you do with the data that makes the greatest impact in your facility, OEE software offers a number of features that make it easier to transform data-driven insights into meaningful results.

For instance, you can monitor and compare shifts and lines, allowing you to uncover the real reasons behind performance variations which you can then resolve through appropriate management tactics. OEE calculations and dashboards make it easy to track performance at a glance, while root cause analysis and alerts give you the ability to drill down and investigate snags at the line or machine level. By becoming more informed about what’s really happening across your operations, you can establish realistic goals to improve consistently. You can also improve the ROI on your equipment by assessing which machines are underperforming, how predictive maintenance should be scheduled, and when to strategically plan for repairs and replacements.

Plus, since all operational data is collected in real time, your teams become empowered to make timely decisions that lead to better plant performance. Here are just some of the benefits manufacturers can expect to see across their facilities:

  •       Maximized yield

  •       Quicker root cause analysis

  •       Reduction of unplanned downtime

  •       Reduced waste and rework

  •       Lower costs

  •       Increased throughput

Interested in finding out what OEE data collection software could do for your company? To learn more, take a closer look into SafetyChain’s platform features.