How to kickstart and maintain your equipment health in 2022

Mar 11, 2022 by Mark Dingley

Embracing TPM means ensuring your equipment, production lines & employees are operating at peak performance.

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Is your equipment running as efficiently as you think? Or is it holding back your production capacity and compromising product quality?

It’s hard to establish a competitive manufacturing business when you’re dealing with downtimes, unplanned stoppages, quality issues, and even recalls.

Downtimes in your production and packaging line are not only stressful, but they’re also expensive. They can spoil a whole batch of products and wipe out your bottom line – especially if customers are involved.

The good news is that equipment downtime and inefficiency is usually avoidable through the right maintenance strategy.

Regular servicing and monitoring of equipment health not only extend the life of the machine, but also stop the risk of goods leaving the facility that don’t meet your customers’ stringent quality demands.

The question is, what approach should you take to maximise your equipment health and avoid downtime issues?

In this article, we explain why you should take a data-driven approach to maintain your equipment health and how to get started.

Start measuring the right data.

Do you know what’s happening on your production line for every single run, and how efficient your equipment and lines are? By collecting and understanding the right data, you can improve your equipment health, and your bottom line.

That’s where OEE comes in.

OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) is a best practice metric for measuring the effectiveness and efficiency of a manufacturing process.

OEE is based on the idea of three core elements making up manufacturing efficiency:

1. How fast you actually run vs how fast you should run

2. The amount of time you spent producing vs how much time you should have spent producing

3. How much waste you produced.

The goal of OEE is to get more product out of the door, in less time, with less waste. You measure different parts of the production line, then use the score to find the hidden opportunities and capacity to optimise production.

In short, OEE helps you understand what’s working in your production line and what’s not. It highlights weak spots and barriers to efficient production – such as equipment that isn’t running as smoothly as it should.

 

What does the OEE score mean?

OEE is calculated as the product of three factors – Availability, Performance and Quality – to show a percentage of the planned production time that is truly productive.

An OEE score of 100% represents perfect production: manufacturing only good parts, as fast as possible, with no down time.

A low OEE score means that a production line or individual piece of equipment is underperforming.

How to measure OEE

Manually capturing production loss, changeovers, slow running times, speed and downtimes can be a near-impossible task for many manufacturers. But there’s a better way, and it’s not as complicated or expensive as you might think.

You can automate your data collection.

With OEE software, like iDSnet Manager powered by OFS, data can be easily collected with sensors on the production line and automatically fed into live dashboards and reports to measure your OEE.

This gives you instant visibility and insights ready for you to use to improve your machine health, and productivity, such as:

  • Identify repetitive and problematic downtimes – see what the issue is with the machinery and work to reduce or eliminate the issue.
  • Understand how your machinery is performing over time with trend reports – keep an eye on emerging patterns and quickly identify potential issues.
  • Monitor quality and reduce defective units and waste
  • Find bottlenecks and work out what is causing them.

Look at these common OEE mistakes and how to avoid them.

The important thing to realise is that measuring OEE isn’t just for the big guys – it can deliver a long list of advantages for smaller manufacturers who want to stay competitive.

Use your data for predictive maintenance

By measuring the right data, you can stop doing reactive maintenance and start using predictive maintenance to maximise your equipment health.

As outlined by Deloitte, "In the environment of Industry 4.0, maintenance should do much more than merely preventing downtimes of individual assets. Predicting failures via advanced analytics can increase equipment uptime by up to 20%."

When done effectively, predictive maintenance is an effective strategy to prevent the frequent and costly need for reactive maintenance on the production line. It’s a popular strategy – over the next five years, the global predictive maintenance market is expected to reach US$13.9bn by 2026.

 

Work with an equipment partner who cares

Support is critical to uptime. That’s why it’s worth choosing a local Australian equipment provider who can keep your line running through mitigation of failure risk points and optimising your operational processes.

Matthews provides a 24x7 Care program that ensures you have the support you need, when you need it most, whether on-site or remote. Because we know that not every business needs the same level of support, you can choose from the right level of care for your business.