Does your organization focus on results or the means to achieve them? Do you know when you’re having a good day? Are your processes improving?
The reality is that too many opportunities are missed by simply focusing on results alone. As we have discussed in many of our posts on problem solving and continuous improvement, the actions you take now will determine the results you achieve today and in the future. Focus on the means of making the product and the results are sure to follow.
Does it not make sense to measure the progress of actions and events in real-time that will affect the end result? Would it not make more sense to monitor our processes similar to the way we use Statistical Process Control techniques to measure current quality levels? Is it possible to establish certain “conditions” that are indicative of success or failure at prescribed intervals as opposed to waiting for the run to finish?
By way of analogy, consider a team competing in a championship race. While the objective is to win the race, we can be certain that each lap is timed to the fraction of a second and each pit stop is scrutinized for opportunities to reduce time off the track. We can also be sure that fine tuning of the process and other small corrections are being made as the race progresses. If performed correctly and faster than the competition, the actions taken will ultimately lead to victory.
Similarly, does it not make sense to monitor OEE in realtime? If it is not possible or feasible to monitor OEE itself , is it possible to measure the components – Availability, Performance, and Quality – in real-time? I would suggest that we can.
Performance metrics may include production and quality targets based on lapsed production time. If the targets are hit at the prescribed intervals, then the desired OEE should also be realized. If certain targets are missed, an escalation process can be initiated to involve the appropriate levels of support to immediately and effectively resolve the concerns.
A higher reporting frequency or shorter time interval provides the opportunity to make smaller (minor) corrections in real-time and to capture relevant information for events that negatively affect OEE.
Improving OEE in real-time requires a skilled team that is capable of trouble shooting and solving problems in real-time. So, resolving concerns and making effective corrective actions in real-time is as important to improving OEE than the data collection process itself.
A lot of time, energy, and resources are expended to collect and analyze data. Unfortunately, when the result is finalized, the opportunity to change it is lost to history. The absence of event-driven data collection and after the fact analysis leads to greater speculation regarding the events that “may have” occurred versus those events that actually did.
Clearly, an end of run pathology is more meaningful when the data supporting the run represents the events as they are recorded in real-time when they actually occurred. This data affords a greater opportunity to dissect the events themselves and delve into a deeper analysis that may yield opportunities for long-term improvements.
Set yourself apart from the competition. Focus on the process while it is running and make improvements in real-time. The results will speak for themselves.
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Until Next Time – STAY lean
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