OEE and IoT

It is an established fact that Overall Equipment Efficiency (OEE) is the best measure of manufacturing capabilities as it combines the three vital parameters of Availability, Performance and Quality. It enables devising methods to improve overall efficiency, productivity and quality by reducing wastage. For this score to provide meaningful insight into operations, it is imperative that it is generated in real-time.

Although OEE has gained momentum from the late eighties implementing it often involves a tradeoff between improving Availability, Performance and Quality. Improving one often leads to lowering of any other parameter. The internet has also brought in the concept of Internet of Things (IoT) which can be used to analyse OEE in real-time, world-wide.

Data when it matters

By the time data is made available, the process often moves to the next cycle. Data is actionable only if it is available in real-time to enable immediate interventions. IoT eliminates snapshot-oriented data, thereby providing accurate baseline OEE calculation for further action to be taken.

Data visibility

The information is transparently available not only to the managers, but also to the workforce who can now track against their daily targets and make immediate improvements. Visibility is made available on the sections in any manufacturing line needing immediate attention. This has the added advantage of empowering your workforce leading to more job satisfaction and better performance. Management can now plan to track production and improve in real-time.

Predictive Maintenance

Real-time OEE enables the identification of machinery that underperforms over time. This helps to predict maintenance requirements and attend to any before it snowballs into a catastrophic failure.

Preventive Maintenance

IoT enables understanding the time and place of a downtime requirement. Management can now utilise this information to plan preventive maintenance, equipment modification and manpower schedules, with least impact on productivity.

Reducing Wastage

Time wastage can be identified and categorised into time lost due to stops, start-ups and setup adjustments. Real-time monitoring helps in eliminating these losses in the nick of time.

Productivity wastage due to quality issues is identified whenever a rejection occurs. The cause of rejection is identified and traced all the way up to the root and remedial action taken by fixing responsibility on either the erring vendor, machine or the batch where it originated.

Hidden factors

Real-time OEE measurements help in rooting out many hidden inefficiencies caused by undefined or manual inputs. Every activity in the manufacturing line is made measurable in real-time by IoT.

Long-term planning

IoT itself can be enabled throughout the manufacturing line, ensuring fool-proof communication between disparate systems. It eliminates the need to change the current modus operandi of operations and any capital-intensive investment.

OEE can be measured any time, but doing so in real-time is the key. By enabling IoT in all processes, a company gets a headstart over others, leading to increased business volume and brand value. IoT also enables monitoring OEE across different world-wide locations simultaneously, thereby helping in taking strategic decisions such as closing the unit in a non-performing location and expanding the facility in a performing location.

MELSS has been providing many industrial IoT solutions in India for many years, such as industrial automation and robotics, end of arm tooling, etc., which help you to achieve more from the same facility, and improve the overall OEE score through IoT. For more information, please visit https://www.melss.com/latest/industry-4-0/.