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Overall Equipment Effectiveness

Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4   Overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) is “a key machining performance indicator.” It tells you how well your shop or plant is operating.

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Overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) is “a key machining performance indicator.” It tells you how well your shop or plant is operating. OEE monitoring is a management tool for spotting what’s holding back your productivity. I recently moderated an online Webinar on this topic. Jon Cruthers, manager of business development from the machine tool business of Siemens Industry, Inc., did the technical presentation. As the moderator, I really enjoyed the question and answer session at the end of the Webinar. Typically, this is the most lively and spontaneous part of a Webinar. That was certainly the case with this one.

One of the questions that came up was about how much machine operator involvement is required by an OEE monitoring system. Siemens is now marketing a software product called MDA (Machine Data Acquisition) that collects data from machine tools and analyzes it to rate OEE in real time, although the focus of the Webinar was on the concept of OEE rather than on product specifics. Jon explained that systems can range from ones that are highly automated, requiring virtually no operator data entry or intervention, to systems in which shopfloor reporting is essential. It all depends on how well equipped machine tools are to output alarm signals and event codes to the network. The point is, the road to monitoring (and boosting) OEE isn’t entirely dependent on having the latest CNC technology (but it does help).

Tell me, what are your experiences with OEE? Do you have any stories about how OEE increased your shop's productivity? Send me an e-mail.