Tag: Training OEE

OEE for Batch Processes

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We recently received an e-mail regarding OEE calculations for batch processes and more specifically the effect on down stream equipment that is directly dependent (perhaps integrated) on the batch process.  While the inquiry was specifically related to the printing industry, batch processing is found throughout manufacturing. Our more recent experiences pertain to heat treating operations where parts are loaded into a stationary fixed-load oven as opposed to a continuous belt process.

Batch processing will inherently cause directly integrated downstream equipment (such as cooling, quenching, or coating processes) to be idle. In many cases it doesn’t make sense to measure the OEE of each co-dependent piece of equipment that are part of the same line or process. Unless there is a strong case otherwise, it may be better to de-integrate or de-couple subsequent downstream processes.

Batch processing presents a myriad of challenges for line balancing, batch sizes, and capacity management in general.  We presented two articles in April 2009 that addressed the topic of  where OEE should be measured.  Click here for Part I or Click  here for Part II.

Scheduling Concerns – Theory of Constraints

Ideally, we want to measure OEE at the bottleneck operation.  When we apply the Theory of Constraints to our production process, we can assure that the flow of material is optimized through the whole system.  The key of course is to make sure that we have correctly identified the bottleneck operation.  In many cases this is the batch process.

While we are often challenged to balance our production operations, the real goal is to create a schedule that can be driven by demand.  Rather than build excess inventories of parts that aren’t required, we want to be able to synchronize our operations to produce on demand and as required to keep the bottleneck operation running.  Build only what is necessary:  the right part, the right quantity, at the right time.

Through my own experience, I have realized the greatest successes using the Theory of Constraints to establish our material flows and production scheduling strategy for batch processes.  Although an in-depth discussion is beyond the scope of this article, I highly recommend reading the following books that convey the concepts and application through a well written and uniquely entertaining style:

  1. In his book “The Goal“, Dr. Eliyahu A. Goldratt presents a unique story of a troubled plant and the steps they took to turn the operation around.
  2. Another book titled “Velocity“, from the AGI-Goldratt Institute and Jeff Cox also demonstrates how the Theory of Constraints and Lean Six Sigma can work together to bring operations to all new level of performance, efficiency, and effectiveness.

I am fond of the “fable” based story line presented by these books as it is allows you to create an image of the operation in your own mind while maintaining an objective view.  The analogies and references used in these books also serve as excellent instruction aids that can be used when teaching your own teams how the Theory of Constraints work.  We can quickly realize that the companies presented in either of the above books are not much different from our own.  As such, we are quickly pulled into the story to see what happens and how the journey unfolds as the story unfolds.

Please leave your comments regarding this or other topics.  We appreciate your feedback.  Also, remember to get your free OEE spreadsheets.  See our free downloads page or click on the file you want from the “Orange” box file on the sidebar.

Until Next Time – STAY lean!

Vergence AnalyticsVergence Analytics
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OEE Integration – Part III

The primary components of your OEE infrastructure are People and DATA.  The people are the life of the OEE system, all else is support.  Data collection and management technologies play an important role in the OEE process, however, they are data collection / process / delivery systems that are programmed to provide reports as requested by the people that use the system.

So, now that we have determined that people are the drivers of the system, the core task then is to provide the people with the education and training they need to be an integral part of the OEE process.  Remember, the people ultimately analyze and make sense of the data using a variety of technology solutions.  Your team is also responsible for recommending actions to improve the current processes based on the data.

Training

Trained and qualified personnel are at the core of any initiative and are fundamental to the success of the program in general.  Our recommendation is to ensure that all personnel across the organization, from the shop floor to the executive leadership, understand the principles of OEE and how it will become an integral part of the company culture to sustain and drive continual improvement.

The executive leadership must embrace the concept of OEE and determine the policies and procedures that surround its measurement and support the actions required to execute improvements to the system and processes accordingly.  To this end, we also recommend that the training is performed by personnel within the organization and not necessarily by executive or senior management.

Consultants serve as an excellent resource to facilitate the initial training and to provide the necessary tools or materials to assure its success.  More importantly however, consultants serve as catalyst to facilitate the integration and implementation process.  A consultant would best serve your interests by supporting a “train the trainer” methodology.

Executive and senior management are responsible for defining the policies and procedures of the OEE management process or system.  While OEE goals and objectives may be determined by management in conjunction with the team, or some of its members, the team is ultimately responsible for the development and execution of the action or improvement plans.

For this reason, we recommend that employees are trained by their immediate supervisor, team leader, or each other (peer to peer).  The objective of peer to peer training is to engage all employees in the training process by encouraging each employee to teach a portion or segment of the training module.  Of course this latter approach assumes that you have training materials available to support this activity.

Training with your own staff will affirm the commitment of the company and the employees will appreciate the presence and development of in-house expertise to make the OEE initiative a success.  This approach also assures that ownership remains with the users of the system – the company.  The best way to teach someone is to give them the responsibility to teach others.  Those who assume the responsibility to teach will certainly become better students as well.

This approach may strike you as a protectionist measure to preserve our integrity as consultants.  To the contrary, our objective as consultants is to serve as a catalyst to develop the infrastructure of your organization using a strategy where the system is ultimately self-sustaining and integral to the culture of your operation.

Over the past few posts we have developed a strategy for engaging your teams in the OEE process.  As we have indicated throughout our series, there are a variety of technology solutions available to measure OEE, few however, provide the tools to develop the infrastructure in your organization to make them effective.

We will pursue this strategy further in future posts.

Until Next Time – STAY lean!

Weighted OEE: How To Calculate Total Plant OEE

In this post we will present a simple method to calculate a truly weighted OEE, including weighted factors Availability, Performance, and Quality.

The QUICK weighted OEE method:

Recalling our original definition of OEE, we are measuring how effectively our planned production time (net available time) is used to make a quality (saleable) product.  The weighted OEE then is the total time required to make a quality product divided by the total net available time.

From our examples in the “Calculating OEE” post, the following table summarizes the time required to produce quality products ONLY for machines A, B, and C:

  1. Machine A:  365 minutes
  2. Machine B:  318.75 minutes
  3. Machine C:  254.34 minutes

The total time to produce good quality (saleable) products is 938.09 minutes.

The total net available time for the three machines is 1365 minutes (3 * 455 minutes). 

The total weighted OEE for the 3 machines = 938.09 / 1365 = 68.72%

Calculating the Weighted Factors:

A similar process to the one described above can be applied to the individual factors.  It stands to reason that when the individual factors are multiplied together that we should get the same result.  We will use this to check our answer.

Weighted Availability:

Availability measures machine uptime efficiency.  The definition applied to an individual process also applies to the total of all the machines.  Availability is calculated using the formula:

Availability:  Net Operating Time / Net Available Time

From our examples in the “Calculating OEE” post, the following table summarizes the Net Operating Times for machines A, B, and C:

  1. Machine A:  423 minutes
  2. Machine B:  437 minutes
  3. Machine C:  433 minutes

The total Net Operating Time = 1293 minutes.

The total Net Available Time for the three machines is 1365 minutes (3 * 455 minutes). 

The weighted AVAILABILITY for the 3 machines = 1293 / 1365 = 94.73%

Weighted Performance:

Performance measures machine operating time efficiency when compared to the “ideal” cycle or operating time.  The definition applied to an individual process also applies to the total of all the machines.  Performance is calculated using the formula:

Performance:  Ideal Operating Time / Net Operating Time

From our examples in the “Calculating OEE” post, the following table summarizes the Ideal Operating Times for machines A, B, and C:

  1. Machine A:  373.33 minutes
  2. Machine B:  337.50 minutes
  3. Machine C:  267.17 minutes

The total Ideal Operating Time to produce ALL parts = 978 minutes.

The total Net Operating Time for the three machines is 1293 minutes (See Availability Calculations Above). 

The weighted PERFORMANCE for the 3 machines = 978 / 1293 = 75.64%

Weighted Quality:

Quality measures how efficiently the “ideal” operating time is used to produce quality (saleable) products.  Again, the definition applied to an individual process also applies to the total of all the machines.  Quality is calculated using the formula:

Quality:  Ideal Operating Time to Make Quality Parts / Ideal Operating Time

From our examples in the “Calculating OEE” post, the following table summarizes the Ideal Operating Time to produce Quality Parts ONLY for machines A, B, and C:

  1. Machine A:  365.00 minutes
  2. Machine B:  318.75 minutes
  3. Machine C:  254.34 minutes

The total Ideal Operating Time for Good Parts = 938.09 minutes.

The total Ideal Operating Time to produce ALL parts for the three machines is 978 minutes (See Performance Calculations Above). 

The weighted Quality for the 3 machines = 938.09 / 978.0 = 95.92%

Weighted OEE cross check:

Let’s compare the results.  From the calculations above, the results are summarized as follows:

  1. Weighted Availability:  94.73%
  2. Weighted Performance:  75.64%
  3. Weighted Quality:  95.92%

Now, we multiply the individual weighted OEE factors together:

OEE = 94.73% * 75.64% * 95.92% = 68.73%

You will see the result is the same as the Quick check introduced at the start of this post.

In our next post we will show you how to calculate the weighted factors for each individual process and introduce yet another way to confirm the weighted OEE calculation.

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.

If you have any questions, comments, concerns, or suggestions for a future topic, please forward them by e-mail to leanexecution@gmail.com  We look forward to hearing from you and trust this information will get you going.

Until Next Time, STAY Lean!

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