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Written by Pertti Lukkari

OEE (Overall Equipment Efficiency) is one of the most important performance indicators in a metalworking company. In this post I share five tips on how OEE can be increased with automation.

1. Beware, you will get what you measure.

Therefore, plan your KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) carefully before you start measuring.

2. Integrate and automate.

The first OEE factor is availability. It is impossible to avoid machinery breakdowns. Therefore, it is better to have strategy for mitigating its impact. Automated and integrated production machinery can recover automatically, utilizing alternative production resources and use unmanned production hours to balance unevenness caused by sudden availability issues. This is also a great way to improve your delivery reliability!

3. Reveal bottlenecks.

The second OEE factor is performance, the speed of your production. An intelligent manufacturing management software simulates production even days ahead, revealing possible resource shortages and bottlenecks in advance. It continuously tracks changes in orders, recognizes missing tools and materials, and executes production automatically so that all orders are completed timely and the production capacity is well utilized. It speeds up your production and shortens delivery times.

OEE (Overall Equipment Efficiency) is one of the most important performance indicators in a metalworking company.

4. Collaborate.

The third OEE factor is quality. For a long time, the trend has been towards smaller and smaller batch sizes, coming close to one. Ability to do things right once will be the game changer of tomorrow. Manufacturing management software that can be integrated horizontally with ERP-, CAM-, PDM- and TDM-software, and vertically with production machinery, improves quality. Production order statuses, valid NC-programs, product documents and correct tool measurements are all stored in and utilized by an integrated system – automatically. The collaborative factory improves quality and information sharing from shopfloor to top floor in real-time.

5. Measure also other KPIs.

If optimizing just OEE, you get high spindle utilization but might end up producing parts to stock and still being late on ordered items. By combining OEE with JOT (Just on Time) principle you reveal the best formula for successful business. Modern manufacturing aims to complete customer orders just on time, not only run spindles.

”The most important competitive factor in today’s production is agility: instead of trying to avoid last-minute changes in your production plan, make it adaptive for changes.”