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Variance, Waste, and OEE

What gets managed MUST be measured – Including VARIANCE.

It is easy to get excited about the many opportunities that a well implemented LEAN Strategy can bring to your organization.  Even more exciting are the results.

Achieving improvement objectives implies that some form of measurement process exists – the proof.  A clear link should be established to the metric you choose and the activity being managed to support the ongoing improvement initiatives.

Measure with Meaning

Why are you “collecting” OEE data?  While OEE can and should be used to measure the effectiveness of your manufacturing operations, OEE on its own does not present a complete solution.  It is true that OEE presents a single metric that serves as an indicator of performance, however, it does not provide any insight with respect to VARIANCES that are or may be present in the system.

We have encountered numerous operations where OEE data can be very misleading.  OEE data can be calculated using various measurement categories:  by machine, part number, shift, employee, supervisor, department, day, month, and so on.

VARIANCE:  the leading cause of waste!

Quality professionals are more than familiar with variance.  Statistically capable processes are every quality managers dream.  Unfortunately, very little attention or focus is applied to variances experienced on the production side of the business.

Some may be reading this and wonder where this is going.  The answer is simple, rates of production are subject to variance.  Quite simply, if you review the individual OEE results of any machine for each run over an extended period of time, you will notice that the number is not a constant.  The performance, availability, and quality factors are all different from one run to the next.  One run may experience more downtime than another, a sluggish machine may result in reduced in performance, or material problems may be giving rise to increased quality failures (scrap).

So, while the OEE trend may show improvement over time, it is clear that variances are present in the process.  Quality professionals readily understand the link between process variation and product quality.  Similarly, variation in process rates and equipment reliability factors affect the OEE for a given machine.

We recommend performing a statistical analysis of the raw data for each factor that comprises OEE (Availability, Performance, and Quality) for individual processes.  Analysis of OEE itself requires an understanding of the underlying factors.  It is impractical to consider the application of ANOVA to OEE itself as the goal is to continually improve.

How much easier would it be if you could schedule a machine to run parts and know that you will get them when you needed them?  You can’t skip the process deep dive.  You need to understand how each process affects the overall top-level OEE index that is performance so you can develop and implement specific improvement actions.

The best demonstration we have seen that illustrates how process variation impacts your operation is presented through a “process simulation” developed from Eli Goldratt’s book, The Goal.  We will share this simulation in a separate post.  Experiencing the effect of process variation is much more meaningful and memorable than a spreadsheet full of numbers.

Conflict Management and OEE

In some environments we have encountered, the interpretation of LEAN strategy at the shop floor level is to set minimum OEE performance objectives with punitive consequences.  This type of strategy is certainly in conflict with any Lean initiative.  The lean objective is to learn as much as possible from the process and to identify opportunities for continual improvement.

Management by intimidation is becoming more of a rarity, however, we have found that they also give rise to the OEE genius.  If performance is measured daily, the OEE genius will make sure a high performing job is part of the mix to improve the “overall” result.  This is akin to taking an easy course of study to “pull up” your overall average.

It is clear from this example, that you will miss opportunities to improve your operation if the culture is tainted by conflicting performance objectives.  The objective is to reveal sources of variation to eliminate waste and variation in your process, not find better ways to hide it.

Variance in daily output rates are normal.  How much are you willing to accept?  Do you know what normal is?  Understanding process variance and OEE as complementary metrics will surely help to identify more opportunities for improvement.

FREE Downloads

We are currently offering our Excel OEE Spreadsheet Templates and example files at no charge.  You can download our files from the ORANGE BOX on the sidebar titled “FREE DOWNLOADS” or click on the FREE Downloads Page.  These files can be used as is and can be easily modified to suit many different manufacturing processes.  There are no hidden files, formulas, or macros and no obligations for the services provided here.

Please forward your questions, comments, or suggestions to LeanExecution@gmail.com.  To request our services for a specific project, please send your inquiries to Vergence.Consulting@gmail.com.

We welcome your feedback and thank you for visiting.

Until Next Time – STAY Lean!

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Problem Solving with OEE – Measuring Success

OEE in Perspective

As mentioned in our previous posts, OEE is a terrific metric for measuring and monitoring ongoing performance in your operation.  However, like many metrics, it can become the focus rather than the gage of performance it is intended to be.

The objective of measuring OEE is to identify opportunities where improvements can be made or to determine whether the changes to your process provided the results you were seeking to achieve.  Lean organizations predict performance expectations and document the reasons to support the anticipated results .  The measurement system used to monitor performance serves as a gauge to determine whether the reasons for the actual outcomes were valid.  A “miss” to target indicates that something is wrong with the reasoning – whether the result is positive or negative.

Lean organizations are learning continually and recognize the need to understand why and how processes work.  Predicting results with supported documentation verifies the level of understanding of the process itself.  Failing to predict the result is an indicator that the process is not yet fully understood.

Problem Solving with OEE

Improvement strategies that are driven by OEE should cause the focus to shift to specific elements or areas in your operation such as reduction in tool change-over or setup time, improved material handling strategies, or quality improvement initiatives.  Focusing on the basic tenets of Lean will ultimately lead to improvements in OEE.  See the process in operation (first-hand), identify opportunities for improvement, immediately resolve,  implement and document corrective actions, then share the knowledge with the team and the company.

Understanding and Managing Variance:

OEE data is subject to variation like any other process in your operation.  What are the sources of variation?  If there is a constant effort to improve performance, then you would expect to see positive performance trends.  However, monitoring OEE and attempting to maintain positive performance trends can be a real challenge if the variances are left unchecked.

Availability

What if change-over times or setup times have been dramatically reduced?  Rather than setting a job to run once a week, it has now been decided to run it daily (five times per week).  What if the total downtime was the same to make the same number of parts over the same period of time?  Did we make an improvement?

The availability factor may very well be the same.  We would suggest that, yes, a signficant improvement was made.  While the OEE may remain the same, the inventory turns may increase substantially and certainly the inventory on hand could be converted into sales much more readily.  So, the improvement will ultimately be measured by a different metric.

Performance

Cycle time reductions are typically used to demonstrate improvements in the reported OEE.  In some cases, methods have been changed to improve the throughput of the process, in other cases the process was never optimized from the start.  In other instances, parts are run on a different and faster machine resulting in higher rates of production.  The latter case does not necessarily mean the OEE has improved since the base line used to measure it has changed.

Quality

Another example pertains to manual operations ultimately controlled through human effort.  The standard cycle time for calculating OEE is based on one operator running the machine.  In an effort to improve productivity, a second operator is added.  The performance factor of the operation may improve, however, the conditions have changed.  The perceived OEE improvement may not be an improvement at all.  Another metric such as Labour Variance or Efficiency may actually show a decline.

Another perceived improvement pertains to Quality.  Hopefully there aren’t to many examples like this one – changing the acceptance criteria to allow more parts to pass as acceptable, fit for function, or saleable product (although it is possible that the original standards were too high).

Standards

Changing standards is not the same as changing the process.  Consider another more obvious example pertaining to availability.  Assume the change over time for a process is 3o minutes and the total planned production time is 1 hour (including change over time).  For simplicity of the calculation no other downtime is assumed.  The availability in this case is 50% ((60 – 30) / 60).

To “improve” the availability we could have run for another hour and the resulting availability would be 75% (120 – 30) / 120.  The availability will show an improvement but the change-over process itself has not changed.  This is clearly an example of time management, perhaps even inventory control, not process change.

This last example also demonstrates why comparing shifts may be compromised when using OEE as a stand-alone metric.  What if one shift completed the setup in 20 minutes and could only run for 30 minutes before the shift was over (Availability = 60%).  The next shift comes in and runs for 8 hours without incident or down time (Availability = 100%).  Which shift really did a better job all other factors being equal?

Caution

When working with OEE, be careful how the results are used and certainly consider how the results could be compromised if the culture has not adopted the real meaning of Lean Thinking.  The metric is there to help you improve your operation – not figure out ways to beat the system!

FREE Downloads

We are currently offering our Excel OEE Spreadsheet Templates and example files at no charge.  You can download our files from the ORANGE BOX on the sidebar titled “FREE DOWNLOADS” or click on the FREE Downloads Page.  These files can be used as is and can be easily modified to suit many different manufacturing processes.  There are no hidden files, formulas, or macros and no obligations for the services provided here.

Please forward your questions, comments, or suggestions to LeanExecution@gmail.com.  To request our services for a specific project, please send your inquiries to Vergence.Consulting@gmail.com.

We welcome your feedback and thank you for visiting.

Until Next Time – STAY Lean!

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OEE for Multiple Parts – Single Machine (Multipart Processes)

How to Calculate OEE for Single Machine and Multiple Parts.

Flexible manufacturing provides the advantage of producing many different parts on the same piece of equipment.  The same is true for processes such as stamping presses, molding machines, or machining operations.

The first question most often asked is, “How do we calculate OEE for a piece of equipment that is capable of manufacturing multiple parts?”  The overall OEE for a stamping press, molding machine, machining process, or other “multipart” process is easily calculated using the same formulas presented in our previous posts “How to Calculate OEE” and “Practical OEE“.

We presented three machines running at various rates and producing unique products.  We demonstrated how to calculate the OEE for each part individually and for all parts collectively.  The machines A, B, and C could very easily be parts A, B, and C running on one machine.  The application of the OEE formulas presented for these three machines is the same for multiple parts running on the same machine.

We have prepared two Excel spreadsheets that demonstrate how to calculate OEE for a single machine that produces multiple parts.  We have also created a separate Excel spreadsheet that will show you how to calculate OEE for Multiple Departments and Multiple Machines running Multiple Parts.

Calculating OEE for any period of time, department, or group of equipment is a simple task.  With the understanding that OEE measures how effectively Net Available Time is used to produce good parts at the ideal rate, the formula for any OEE calculation follows:

OEE (Any Category) = Total SUM of IDEAL Time / Total SUM of NET Available Time

Once this basic premise for OEE calculations is clearly understood, any combination of OEE summaries can be prepared including OEE summaries by Shift, Operator, Manager, Division, Process, and Process Type.

FREE Downloads 

We are currently offering our Excel OEE Spreadsheet Templates and example files at no charge.  You can download our files from the ORANGE BOX on the sidebar titled “FREE DOWNLOADS” or click on the FREE Downloads Page.  These files can be used as is and can be easily modified to suit many different manufacturing processes.  There are no hidden files, formulas, or macros and no obligations for the services provided here.

Multipart OEE – Confronting the Challenges

Most manufacturing environments are challenged with the task of minimizing inventories requiring more frequent change-overs or setups.  By far, the greatest challenge of multipart equipment is managing the change-over process and is usually reflected in the OEE Availability factor.

We recommend including setup or change-over time as part of the unplanned downtime calculation.  Then, by definition, one method to improve Availability is to reduce change-over or setup time.  Reductions in change-over time will also be reflected by improved Availability.  The Availability factor is now a useful metric for tracking improvements.

According to our definition, change-over time or setup time is measured from the end of the current production run (“the last good part made”) to the start of the next production run (“first good part produced”).  We have worked with some manufacturers that decided to do change-overs on the off shift so that they could avoid the down time penalty.  They clearly didn’t get the point – deferring the time when the change-over is performed doesn’t change the time required to perform it.

Several programs such as SMED (single minute exchange of dies) are available and, when coupled with best practices for quick die change (QDC) or quick tool change techniques, can greatly reduce the time lost during your tool change events.

We will consider posting best practices for SMED or QDC and would welcome any reader comments in this area.

We always welcome your feedback and comments.  Feel free to send us your questions or comments to leanexecution@gmail.com

Until Next Time – STAY Lean!

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Practical OEE – How To Calculate and Use Weighted OEE

We have presented the methods of calculating OEE for a process and also demonstrated how weighted OEE is calculated for multiple processes.  Our next challenge is to determine how this data can be used to make sure we are targeting the right processes for improvement.

Over the next few posts, we will show you how to calculate weighted OEE factors for each process.  This weighting will include calculations for each of the factors as well as the overall OEE.  The results of the individual weighted factors may well serve to point us in the right direction.

Calculating the weighted OEE and it’s factors is not just a simple calculation of averages as you can see from our previously calculated data.  It is easy to fall into this trap and it is also for this very reason that we have put forth the effort to show you how it should be done.

We highly recommend reviewing the posts presented over the past few days to refresh yourself with the ongoing development of our key Lean metric:  OEE.

Free Excel Downloads:

We have created a number of Excel spreadsheets that are immediately available for download from our FREE Downloads page or from the Free Downloads widget on the side bar.  These spreadsheets can be modified as required for your application.

Calculating Weighted OEE

We will continue to use the examples presented in our previous posts to develop our OEE metric.  We will start with the overall OEE percentage to help you understand the weighting concept applied here.

The basic formula to determine the weighted OEE for each individual process follows:

Weighted OEE = Process OEE * (Net Available Time / Total Net Available Time)

The OEE data taken from our previous examples is summarized in the table below:

  1. Machine A:  OEE = 80.22%, Net Available Time = 455 minutes
  2. Machine B:  OEE = 70.05%, Net Available Time = 455 minutes
  3. Machine C:  OEE = 55.90%, Net Available Time = 455 minutes

The total Net Available Time for all machines = 455 * 3 = 1365 minutes.  Now we can calculate our “weighted OEE” for each machine as shown:

  1. Machine A:  Weighted OEE = 80.22% * (455 / 1365) = 26.74%
  2. Machine B:  Weighted OEE = 70.05% * (455 / 1365) = 23.35%
  3. Machine C:  Weighted OEE = 55.90% * (455 / 1365) = 18.63%

Adding the individual weighted OEE together for each machine, we find the total is 68.72%.  Note that this matches the total OEE calculation from our previous post.

Warning:  Don’t fall into the trap of assuming that the same result could have been achieved by simply averaging the three OEE numbers.  The results in the calculation appear to be a simple average, however, this is misleading because you will also note that the Net Available Time and Total Net Available Time ratio is the same for each machine.  This is not always the case.  Many times, a machine may run for only half a shift or a few hours at a time.  This may significantly change the weighted OEE for a given machine and the result is not a simple arithmetic average.

Our next step will be to calculate the individual weighted factors for Availability, Performance, and Quality for each machine.  These calculations will readily demonstrate that it’s not a simple averaging process.

Weighted Availability Factor:

The basic formula to determine the weighted Availability Factor for each individual process follows:

Weighted Availability = Availability % * (Net Available Time / Total Net Available Time)

You will note that the weighting factor for availability is the same as the weighting factor for the overall OEE weight.  The Availability data taken from our previous examples is summarized in the table below:

  1. Machine A:  Availability = 92.97%, Net Available Time = 455 minutes
  2. Machine B:  Availability = 96.04%, Net Available Time = 455 minutes
  3. Machine C:  Availability = 95.16%, Net Available Time = 455 minutes

The total Net Available Time for all machines = 455 * 3 = 1365 minutes.  Now we can calculate our “weighted availability” for each machine as shown:

  1. Machine A:  Weighted Availability = 92.97% * (455 / 1365) = 30.99%
  2. Machine B:  Weighted Availability = 96.04% * (455 / 1365) = 32.01%
  3. Machine C:  Weighted Availability = 95.16% * (455 / 1365) = 31.72%

Adding the individual weighted Availability factors together for each machine, we find the total is 94.72%.  Note that this matches the total weighted Availability calculation from our previous post.

 Warning:  because all process have the same Net Available Time you may be thinking that this seems like a lot of work to simply get an average of the numbers.  More on this later when we take a look at Performance and Quality.

Weighted Performance Factor:

The basic formula to determine the weighted Performance Factor for each individual process follows:

Weighted Performance = Performance % * (Net Operating Time / Total Net Operating Time)

You will note that the weighting factor for performance is different.  This is because performance is a measure of how well the operating time was used to make parts.  The Performance data taken from our previous examples is summarized in the table below:

  1. Machine A:  performance = 88.26%, Net Operating Time = 423 minutes
  2. Machine B:  Performance = 77.23%, Net Operating Time = 437 minutes
  3. Machine C:  Performance = 61.70%, Net Operating Time = 433 minutes

The total Net Operating Time for all machines = 1293 minutes.  Now we can calculate our “weighted performance” for each machine as shown:

  1. Machine A:  Weighted Performance = 88.26% * (423 / 1293) = 28.87%
  2. Machine B:  Weighted Performance = 77.23% * (437 / 1293) = 26.10%
  3. Machine C:  Weighted Performance = 61.70% * (433 / 1293) = 20.66%

Adding the individual weighted Performance factors together for each machine, we find the total is 75.63%.  Note that this matches the total weighted Performance calculation from our previous post.

 Finally:  You will note that the Weighted Performance is NOT the same as the Arithmetic Average!  The arithmetic average in this case is 75.73%.  Although it doesn’t appear to be a significant difference, you wil see that it can be.

Weighted Quality Factor:

The basic formula to determine the weighted Quality Factor for each individual process follows:

Weighted Quality = Quality % * (Ideal Operating Time / Total Ideal Operating Time)

You will note that the weighting factor for quality is different.  This is because quality is a measure of how well the ideal operating time was used to make good (saleable) parts.  The Quality data taken from our previous examples is summarized in the table below:

  1. Machine A:  Quality = 97.77%, Ideal Operating Time = 373.33 minutes
  2. Machine B:  Quality = 94.44%, Ideal Operating Time = 337.50 minutes
  3. Machine C:  Quality = 95.20%, Ideal Operating Time = 267.17 minutes

The total Ideal Operating Time (to make all parts) for all machines = 978 minutes.  Now we can calculate our “weighted quality” for each machine as shown:

  1. Machine A:  Weighted Quality = 97.77% * (373.33 / 978) = 37.32%
  2. Machine B:  Weighted Quality = 94.44% * (337.50 / 978) = 32.59%
  3. Machine C:  Weighted Quality = 95.20% * (267.17 / 978) = 26.01%

Adding the individual weighted Quality factors together for each machine, we find the total is 95.92% as expected.  Note that this matches the total weighted Quality calculation from our previous post.

 Finally:  You will note that the Weighted Quality is NOT the same as the Arithmetic Average! 

Remember to get your free downloads.  We have created a number of Excel spreadsheets that are immediately available for download from our FREE Downloads page or from the Free Downloads widget on the side bar.  These spreadsheets can be modified as required for your application.

Until Next Time – STAY Lean!

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