Addressing the Six Big Losses

Measuring the Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) of a business’ manufacturing processes, from a single piece of equipment or a manufacturing plant to a campus or group wide manufacturing operation, enables that organisation to provide a full illustration of manufacturing effectiveness and productivity. The OEE calculation can simply highlight hidden losses and reveal the true capability of its manufacturing plants.

OEE is a way of measuring the most important factor in the manufacturing process – loss. By grouping it into three main categories and calculating a percentage figure, a benchmark is produced to measure how that manufacturing plant is performing and can be improved.

These three categories of loss are:

Availability loss – measures downtime loss – affected by

  • Breakdowns
  • Set-up and adjustments

Performance loss – measures speed loss – affected by

  • Minor stops
  • Slow running conditions

Quality loss – measures loss of expected quality – affected by

  • Defects and reworks
  • Start-up losses

Otherwise known as the ‘Six Big Losses’. These are shown as percentages and are then multiplied together to produce a final OEE percentage.

There is a temptation when implementing an OEE system to take the loss measurements thrown up by the OEE score and attack the cause. This can be counterproductive especially where some of those causes may originate from the ‘human’ side of the manufacturing cycle. The OEE score should be a used as an illustration where perhaps re-education of use, machine speed or preventative maintenance to name a few, can be used to improve Overall Equipment Effectiveness.

It is important that the introduction of an OEE system is viewed by all those involved in the process in a positive light. An ‘OEE Amnesty’ is always a good idea for the first few months after implementation, enabling the recorded figures to be an accurate reflection and benchmark of OEE. OEE should be introduced as a way of aiding operators make improvements that can be measured and perhaps rewarded – not as an instrument to measure how ‘badly’ they are performing.

Getting your staff ‘on board’ is the most important hurdle to addressing the six big losses. The next is getting real time data to operators and engineers to enable them to react and adjust where necessary.

Display screen in the plant of actual OEE scores and its six contributors, allow operators, maintenance teams and management to react immediately to address those six big losses as a team and realise immediate OEE instead of reporting on those losses days later.

Contact Idhammar to find out how our specialist OEE software can do just this and for specialist advice on OEE and how to implement into you organisation or visit the Idhammar OEE pages for further information.