IoT to improve overall equipment effectiveness (OEE)

By | 2 minute read | December 13, 2016

There is much speculation regarding potential impact of President-Elect Donald Trump’s trade policies on manufacturing. While changes are certain but unknown, a wait and see attitude may be the most judicious for the moment. There are, however, initiatives that can have predictable long-term benefits to manufacturing organizations regardless of political climates, specifically through the application of IoT capabilities to improve overall equipment effectiveness (OEE).

OEE, a concept introduced in 1982, is a KPI percentage calculation that uses equipment availability, productivity, and quality metrics to arrive a number that summarizes how well a piece of equipment or production line is operating. Understanding Overall Equipment Effectiveness in Reliable Plant describes OEE in greater detail and explains how operations, maintenance, quality, and engineering play a critical role in affecting OEE. The Industry Week article OEE – Learn How to Use It Right provides practical guidance in the application of OEE and identification of bottlenecks.

The Internet of Things brings new capabilities to help manufacturers identify and remedy areas negatively impacting OEE.

Detailed understanding of equipment performance through instrumentation and analytics can help identify and remedy problems in three ways.

1) Providing advanced warning of impending equipment degradation or failure to avoid unplanned downtime and accelerate MTTR.

2) Carefully monitoring production line quality – is equipment properly calibrated? are component metrics beginning to drift from prescribed dimensions? are process parameters – speed, time, temp, etc. – within target ranges? – to accurately determine and remedy root causes of quality problem to improve yield.

3) Analyzing historic process and performance data to optimize maintenance planning, schedules, and resources, leading to lower maintenance costs, reduced material and supplies, and greater equipment availability.

Sidetracking a bit, you’ve no doubt heard dozens (hundreds?) of definitions for IoT. It’s entertaining to see how many or few words are used to describe this phenomenon. Dave Reiber, formerly of General Motors and now applying his decades of experience at reliabilityweb.com states it succinctly “It’s inevitable. Embrace it.”

IoT, IBM and overall equipment effectiveness (OEE)

Back to OEE and IoT. What are the benefits of applying IoT to OEE? ARC Advisory’s Industrial IoT / Industry 4.0 Viewpoints describes a simple yet insightful example of applying IoT to OEE in a manufacturing organization, citing OEE improvement of 24%, 16% reduction in defects, labor utilization increase of 12 points, and a 10% increase in line throughput. Impressive results for a first try.

Manufacturing organizations will continue to pursue improvements in OEE. As evinced above, IoT can deliver significant, quantifiable improvements. If OEE improvement is top of mind for you and you’re attending the International Maintenance Conference, please visit the IBM booth to learn how IBM’s IoT for Manufacturing solutions can help you embrace the inevitable, applying IoT capabilities to improve OEE.