Wednesday, April 17, 2024
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Why the Time Period is Critical When Tracking OEE

It’s important to remember that the goal of OEE (and machine downtime tracking) in general isn’t just to highlight everything that is going right with your manufacturing efforts. Sure, everyone likes a nice pat on the back every now and again – a confirmation that their hard work is paying off. But you’re also looking for opportunities to improve, too, which means paying attention to trends as they develop.

The issue is that OEE isn’t a sprint – it’s a marathon. The real actionable insight – the intelligence that will show you exactly what you need to do to thrive – will reveal itself over time. Instant gratification isn’t what you’re going for, here – if all your opportunities for improvement were obvious enough that they could be addressed overnight, the chances are high you would have recognized them and already done so by this point.

Time is of the Essence

All this is to say that if you’re tracking machine downtime or OEE within the context of a single day, or even a week, you’re not tapping into the full potential of the data being created. If all you’re looking at is a single shift, you’re not really learning anything valuable.

When the time period of your tracking efforts is too short, individual events become far too important to your OEE score. One period of unplanned downtime will have a major impact when, if it’s the only such period you have in six months, it shouldn’t necessarily be the case.

What you really need to be doing is looking at your tracking scores within the context of at least a month. That way, you’ll be able to see things like performance and availability ebb and flow. Trends will start to reveal themselves.

Then, keep tracking. Compare those findings to what you’re able to collect over the course of the next six months. What has changed? What initially appeared like a major issue that turned out to not be the case? What did you learn that you would have otherwise totally missed had your tracking period been 24 hours?

There’s an old saying that reminds us the arc of progress is slow, but it is steady. Because the name of the game in terms of OEE tracking is continuous improvement, you need to look at what your solution is showing you the same way. You’ve already invested in the solution itself – you need to give ample time for that investment to pay off. Once you do, you’ll identify gain after gain, and you’ll have OEE tracking – not to mention patience – to thank for it. Anything else would be failing to tap into its full potential.

If you’d like to find out even more information about why you should carefully select your time period when tracking OEE across your manufacturing enterprise, or if you’d just like to discuss what equipment downtime tracking might be able to do for your business in a bit more detail, please feel free to contact the team at Thrive today.

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