What does OEE mean?

To ensure we’re all on the same page, we want to start this article by defining OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness).

OEE is seen by many manufacturers as the gold standard in productivity monitoring, taking into account Performance, Availability and Quality.

Wikipedia defines OEE as, a measure of how well a manufacturing operation is utilised (facilities, time and material) compared to its full potential, during the periods when it is scheduled to run. It identifies the percentage of manufacturing time that is truly productive. An OEE of 100% means that only good parts are produced (100% quality), at the maximum speed (100% performance), and without interruption (100% availability).

OEE, one size fits all?

As with any process, ‘one size’ does not fit all when it comes to OEE. In many cases, manufacturers find the process of measuring OEE just too ‘painful’.

Whether it is due to the type of manufacturing done (small-batch/volume production), the investment level required (time, money, resources) or the cultural barriers to overcome, OEE simply proves to be too much of a ‘headache’ to implement and, in cases where it has been implemented, can cause ‘pain’ due to the amount of manual upkeep required.

OEE reimagined for today’s manufacturers

Sometimes, it takes someone to step outside the box and think differently to change something for the better, as evidenced by two innovations that have influenced the way billions of people go about their daily lives...

Ever heard the quote, widely cited as coming from Henry Ford “If I had asked my customers what they wanted they would have said a faster horse”, and in more recent times, how the ‘mobile phone’ was revolutionised by Steve Jobs and the team at Apple.

Although we're not 'quite' on the scale of Ford and Apple (just yet) two years ago, FourJaw’s plug-&-play machine monitoring platform, made the once impossible, possible.

Using a small piece of IoT hardware, the internet and some clever cloud computing, we have given manufacturers access to real-time visibility of their factory floor, providing insight to understand how productive and utilised their machines were, no matter the brand, type or age. Manufacturers no longer have to run their production line blind, or worry about large upfront, complex and disruptive machine monitoring offered by traditional solutions.

Today, we are excited to tell you, that once again we have stepped ‘outside the box’ to make OEE truly accessible. We’re going to provide manufacturers with real-time OEE, across the entire factory floor, regardless of age/brand/size of the machine.

OEE

Introducing OEE powered by FourJaw Downtime machine monitoring

We can accurately measure OEE for both small-batch and volume-production workflows, and it all works with the existing FourJaw hardware, which can be retrofitted in minutes, for a low capital cost thanks to our plug-&-play design. Culturally, machine operators won’t need to change their behaviours (much) and best of all, there will be no need to capture any data via manually collating spreadsheets.

FourJaw’s machine monitoring software was created to drive productivity for manufacturers of all sizes and based on customer requests, we can now provide manufacturers with a true view of their OEE performance within the platform.

By using the real-time machine status data, we can calculate OEE figures for the current job, or this shift, enabling comparison to previous shifts and encouraging the machine operator and factory floor supervisor to take corrective action if needed.

Production managers can see OEE trends and set cell or factory targets in the long term. They can drill down to find out what performance, availability and quality issues are causing those trends and lead continuous improvement initiatives to drive change.

Key features of OEE from FourJaw

  • It works on every machine, regardless of age brand or size to give you full OEE across your factory floor.
  • We’ve made it suitable for any workflow, from small batches, even of 1, to high-throughput production lines.
  • It’s available in real-time, so you’re always up to date – no more waiting for the end of the week to understand if production is on track
  • It works with existing downtime reasons so FourJaw customers can access OEE without machine operators modifying their behaviour (too much, apart from labelling quality issues)
  • It’s inexpensive to get started and can be installed on your machines within minutes.

Summary

FourJaw's downtime machine monitoring is designed to offer manufacturers of all sizes an accessible and affordable way to harness the benefits Industry 4.0 technology can provide.

The latest upgrade to our OEE functionality is another important step towards delivering our promise to enable manufacturers to drive productivity improvements by understanding the past, managing the present and optimising for the future

As we said at the start of this article, traditionally measuring OEE has been complex, painful and time-consuming for many manufacturers and therefore out of reach. However, thanks to FourJaw’s simple plug-&-play installation, convenient and user-friendly data entry and intuitive data visualisation, production teams can finally measure OEE and make continuous improvement a headache-free process.