When performed poorly, maintenance can sometimes be viewed as a cost center by plant managers, but if it’s performed in a proactive, preventive manner that focuses on reliability and increasing machine uptime and production, it can instead be viewed as an investment instead.
To make the case that their maintenance activities aren’t a cost but an investment, it’s useful to have metrics or KPIs that show the positive influence your maintenance and reliability efforts are having in terms of better operational efficiency (as well as quality, safety, and so on).
One key metric that’s often used by maintenance departments for this purpose is Overall Equipment Effectiveness, or OEE. This is a measurement that compares the plant’s actual production to its full production potential.
In this article, we’ll explain OEE in a little more detail.
At Vector Solutions, in addition to writing helpful blog articles like this one on maintenance, manufacturing, safety, and other topics, we offer online maintenance training courses, including an OEE online training course. These courses can help you close any maintenance skills gap you may have at your organization and create the operational efficiencies and cost savings we’re talking about in this article.
You’ll also find we’ve left a helpful guide and some links to helpful webinars and infographics related to improving maintainability, reliability, and maintenance training at the bottom of this article.
OOE is a measure of the amount of production compared to the plant’s full potential.
Put simply, OEE calculations take into account the following three metrics:
There are a few ways to calculate OEE, but one is:
Availability x Performance x Quality = OEE
When using the equation above for calculating OEE:
Another way to think of this is: OEE = (Good Count x Ideal Cycle Time) / Planned Production Time
If your maintenance program is having the desired positive effects, you should see that reflected in an improvement in your OEE (and other metrics as well).
We hope you found this brief introduction to OEE and how it can be used as a metric for evaluating and demonstrating the effectiveness of your maintenance program.
In general, you’ll find that as you shift away from reactive maintenance and conduct more proactive, preventive maintenance, you should see that positively influence OEE. See our article on five common maintenance strategies for more on this.
To really jump start you plans on improving maintainability and reliability at your organization, you might enjoy this recorded, on-demand webinar that we hosted with Dr. Klaus Blache of the University of Tennessee’s Reliability & Maintainability Center (UT-RMC)—Improving Maintainability and Reliability at your Organization. The model for reliability & maintainability excellence Dr. Blache speaks about in the webinar is also presented in this reliability & maintainability infographic.
Of course, effective training for maintenance techs is a great way for you to help those techs develop skills, to get them to understand the value of preventive maintenance strategies, and to allow them to get to work to help you improve maintenance, decrease maintenance-related machine downtime, and improve your OEE.
Vector Solutions would be happy to help your organization with your maintenance training needs, and we believe you’ll find our learning management system (LMS) and online maintenance training courses to be just what you need. Contact us for a preview or demo or even just to ask some questions, we’re always happy to help. We’ve provided a guide to selecting & using online maintenance training for you below if you’d like to read up on the tech and terms involved in online training and get some general best practices and training 101 tips.