FAQs

General Questions on OEE as a Business Metric

What is Manufacturing Performance Intelligence?

Manufacturing Performance Intelligence is the presentation of manufacturing performance information in a format which supports tactical and strategic decision-making within the business. PerformOEE™ presents real-time performance information in a format that can be rapidly analysed and queried to identify the actions required to deliver improved business performance.

Is OEE an equipment maintenance and performance metric or is it a business metric?

OEE has its origins in TPM (Total Preventative Maintenance) and was originally developed as a metric for improving the performance of manufacturing equipment. More recently a number of manufacturing industries have started to use OEE as a business metric to measure how effectively a plant, or business, utilises its production capacity.

How is OEE used as a business metric?

When coupled with a financial model, OEE can be used to show the cost implications of capacity losses. An accurate cost model can show the cost of all OEE losses and can put a financial value on a percentage OEE improvement. With this financial information the business can calculate and compare product and process costs, can decide the most cost effective processes and can put a monetary value on losses and improvements in performance.

What are the benefits of improving OEE performance?

Improved OEE performance means that the business can ship more product using the same resources, increasing capacity, reducing product cost and improving competitiveness.

Questions on our Software PerformOEE™

What is PerformOEE™ ?

PerformOEE™ is a specialist Manufacturing Intelligence and Performance Management software system for collecting, measuring, analysing and reporting operational performance for manufacturing businesses using OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) as a primary performance metric.

Does PerformOEE™ collect product quality information?

Yes, PerformOEE™ collects all capacity losses including quality losses. OEE accounts for the capacity loss due to quality problems, but can also be used to track quality and component problems.

Can PerformOEE™ be used only in regulated manufacturing businesses?

No. Although PerformOEE™ has been designed to meet the specific needs of regulated manufacturing companies, it is successfully used by many non-regulated businesses to drive operational performance improvement programs.

How accurate is the data collected and presented by PerformOEE™ ? Checks for operator errors.

The data collected by PerformOEE™ is very accurate, especially when collected automatically from the production equipment. In addition, PerformOEE™ has a number of in-built mechanisms to ensure any operator errors are highlighted and corrected. However, it is important to remember that even information that is >95% accurate is more than sufficient to drive operational improvement decision-making and PerformOEE™ will cope with a +/-5% data error and still report performance correctly.

Who in the company will use PerformOEE™ ? Different functions for different people.

PerformOEE™ will be used by everyone in the business and has specific charts and reports targeted at specific users and user-groups. For example, the Digital Dashboard is typically used to run shift meetings, the PlantWatch™ module is used by everyone on the shop-floor, the downtime reports are used by Maintenance personnel, the Trend Dashboard is used by the Improvement Teams and the financial reports are used by Financial and Business Managers.

How is data accessed and analysed using PerformOEE’s drill-down capabilities ?

PerformOEE™ makes extensive use of data drill-down on all charts. To present Manufacturing Intelligence information in a meaningful and usable fashion, PerformOEE™ presents active, multi-level ‘drill-down’ data-views on all charts, eliminating the need for conventional drop-down tool-bars, and significantly reducing the learning curve, even for infrequent users.

Who can access PerformOEE™?

There are three access levels for users of the software - ‘Administrators’ can view and update all information for all Work Centres. ‘Users’ are restricted to a pre-defined number of Work Centres for recording transactions. ‘View Only’ users are restricted to view only on the system and have no access to the administration module.

Is there a limit to the number of users on the system?

No, the software licence allows for an unlimited number of users and additional users can be set up on the system at any time without recourse to OEEsystems International.

Can PerformOEE™ highlight OEE problems?

PerformOEE™ contains a number of inbuilt system alerts. The software continually checks data integrity and ensures that all scheduled time is accounted. ‘Unaccounted time’ is used as a measure of data integrity. Unaccounted time is expected to be less that +/- 5% in order to guarantee that the information is good enough to use for operational improvement decision-making. For all reports the software identifies any data anomalies which may occur (e.g. forgetting to set a work schedule, or inputting 1000 units instead of 100 units). These anomalies show up as OEE, Availability or Performance at >100%, a negative percentage or apparent machine-rates which are greater than the actual machine capability. In all reports these anomalies are highlighted and active so that a user can spot them easily and address the problem by clicking on the highlighted information.

What is ‘real-time performance management’ and how does PerformOEE ™ handle this?

Real-time Performance Management (RPM) is not to be confused with ‘real-time information’. Managing operational performance in real- time means not only having the information in real-time, but also having the means to evaluate that information and communicate to the user what needs to be done to resolve performance issues on the line as they happen. PerformOEE™ uses PlantWatch™ and ActNow™ to report on, and act on, problems in real-time so that serious and prolonged capacity losses can be prevented and avoided.

Are the existing paper-based manufacturing reports still required after PerformOEE™ has been implemented?

Customers who use PerformOEE™ no longer use paper sheets on the line to collect performance information. PerformOEE™’s RDE™ (Rapid data Entry) interface provides a mechanism to enter data more quickly and more efficiently than writing data on paper and subsequently transcribing it. Most Customers also dispense with their daily printed performance reports and use the Digital Dashboard for day/shift operations reviews and the Report Packs for distributing reports in electronic format.

Can PerformOEE™ be used to compare OEE on manufacturing lines in different plants?

Yes, PerformOEE™ allows comparison of OEE (and all OEE components (A,P,Q)) between machines, work-centres, areas, business units, facilities, plants, shifts, products and product categories.

How does PerformOEE™ show the financial impact of manufacturing performance?

During the implementation of the software our Consultant will calculate the cost of OEE losses for each work- centre, area, business unit, etc. This metric will be agreed with the Customer’s Financial Analyst and will be used to drive the financial reporting in the charts. This provides a financial view of any OEE loss on all reports.

Can PerformOEE™ be used to display information on Andon Boards on the production lines?

Yes, PerformOEE™ contains a Visual Factory module which allows real-time charts and reports to be displayed on LCD and plasma screens around the factory.

Can specific custom functionality and reports be included in PerformOEE™?

Yes, PerformOEE™ is developed and supported by OEEsystems International and is continually being developed to improve its power and effectiveness and driving operational performance improvement. We regularly seek feedback from our users on new features and enhanced functionality and strive to include these features in new releases of the software. Because we own and manage the software code, we also offer our Customers the ability to include custom reports and custom functionality in order to meet their specific requirements.

Does PerformOEE™ maintain a record of changes made by users?

All data fields in PerformOEE™ can be audited for changes. This feature is configured during implementation and the data fields to be audited can be decided by the customer.

Does PerformOEE™ need to be validated?

Most Customers who use PerformOEE™ find that there is no requirement to validate the software as it is not used to make decisions which affect GMP, product quality or compliance. However a small number of customers have validated the systems for business reasons and OEEsystems International can support customers who want to document the rationale for not validating the systems or who wish to validate the system for their own business reasons.

Is PerformOEE™ compliant with FDA CFR21Part11?

PerformOEE™ is fully compliant with all the requirements of FDA CFR21 Part 11 and hence supports electronic signature functionality.

How are OEE targets calculated?

OEE targets are calculated based on the production output required of the WorkCentre and the OEE rate of the equipment. OEE rates can be set for WorkCentres, Areas and Facilities and are normally set independently of product mix.

How can the cost of OEE losses be calculated?

OEEsystems International provides each Customer with a confidential financial model based on six financial and operational parameters. This model is then embedded in the software to provide financial reporting throughout the various charts and reports.

What is the “Act Now” function?

ActNow™ is a call-to-action to prevent OEE losses escalating as they happen. We recommend establishing one basic operational rule for ActNow™ initially.

Features & Benefits of PerformOEE™

What is the benefit of using PerformOEE™ over Microsoft Excel and Access?

PerformOEE™ is specifically designed for OEE data-collection, analysis and reporting. OEE solutions based on tools such as Microsoft Excel and Access only work well in businesses with very low complexity (1-2 lines producing 3-5 product variants), and even then can only produce very limited reports, usually after-the-fact). These tools usually have very limited data-capture mechanisms and are normally only suitable for transcription from online data reporting sheets.

What is the benefit of using PerformOEE™ over MES and SCADA systems which also provide OEE reporting?

While many MES and SCADA systems claim to report OEE performance, in fact many of these are quite basic in their reporting capabilities. MES and SCADA systems are designed to report on equipment status, alarms, parameters, etc, and they perform this task very well. However equipment status is not the same as equipment performance and OEE reporting is not the same as OEE performance improvement. The critical reason for collecting OEE information is to improve manufacturing business performance. OEE reporting (e.g. downtime, performance and quality) is only one facet of an OEE system. Most MES and SCADA solutions fall short of being able to successfully drive operational performance improvement.

How effective is PerformOEE™ at improving manufacturing performance?

PerformOEE™ is used as the Business Intelligence and Performance Management tool to drive improvements in manufacturing business performance. PerformOEE™ has been developed by Operations Consultants and deployed in numerous Operational Improvement programs. We have first-hand experience of the data and information that is required to successfully deploy Operational Improvement Programs and the features and functions in PerformOEE™ are specifically designed to be ‘operationally intuitive’, putting the information you require, and would expect to find, no more than a mouse-click away.

What is the Return On Investment for PerformOEE?

In most implementations, our Customers start to realise OEE gains within 3-4 weeks of implementing the software. Immediate gains of 5%- 10% are common. This software will pay for itself usually within a 4 to 6 month period.

How long does it take to implement PerformOEE?

PerformOEE™ technology enables quick deployment of OEE in complex manufacturing environments. We can have it installed in six weeks with OEE improvements of between 5% - 10% within a 3-4 week period.

What % OEE improvement should I expect to achieve from PerformOEE?

Typically our customers experience OEE gains of between 15% - 30%. OEEsystems International is known as the company that “Make OEE improvements happen”. As Operational Excellence experts we offer our customers OEE improvement support post the “Go Live” date of the software. Our team of experienced Operations Consultants will use our PerformOEE™ software to analyse the operational performance, identify and quantify the improvement opportunities and will work with your Improvement Teams to deliver and optimise your OEE gains.

How does PerformOEE™ support Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma programs?

PerformOEE™ has been specifically designed to support Lean Manufacturing, Six Sigma and other Business Excellence programs and is used by many Customers as an integral part of these programs. PerformOEE™ uses the DMAIC approach to support Six Sigma programs in the measurement analysis and control of performance improvement.

Technical Questions

What is a ‘WorkCentre’?

In PerformOEE™ a WorkCentre is defined as the lowest level at which OEE is measured. Typically it is a production line or cell, but in some cases it may also be an individual piece of equipment. Even when a WorkCentre is defined as a line of cell, the individual performance of each piece of equipment in that line or cell can still be measured and analysed.

How many WorkCentres can be connected?

The maximum number of active Work Centres simultaneously connected to PerformOEE™ is controlled by its software licence. Additional WorkCentre licences can be purchased at any time and the software licence can be updated with the installation of a new licence key.

How does PerformOEE™ link to ERP systems and other plant software?

PerformOEE™ can be integrated with most ERP and Planning systems (e.g. SAP, JDE, MFG/PRO, MOVEX, as well as proprietary systems) to download Work Order details. Depending on the interface to the ERP/Planning systems, integration with these systems is configured during implementation or via a custom interface.

How is data collected from the production equipment?

PerformOEE™ has three main mechanisms to collect online performance data. OPC Link connects to machine PLC’s via an ethernet or serial data link, allowing all the relevant machine alarms to be matched and linked to the associated OEE loss codes. Production output count, yield loss and machine speed can also be monitored via this link. StatusLink allows connection of equipment without an on-board PLC or PC and finally, a touch- screen RDE™ (Rapid Data Entry) interface allows rapid and accurate collection of data without a connection to the production equipment.

Can data be collected automatically from the production equipment if the equipment does not have an on- board PLC?

Yes, PerformOEE’s StatusLink is designed to connect to the I/O relays of the equipment. OEEsystems International use an embedded Remote I/O (RIO) module to create an ethernet I/O from the relay signals. Using this method allows a number of machine status signals to be created including Running, Stopped and Idle. This status information can then be augmented with the true root-cause of the incident via the touch-panel interface.

Will PerformOEE™ work with semi- automatic and manual equipment?

Yes, the StatusLink and manual touch- screen data-capture options allow semi- automatic and manual equipment to be monitored. For manual equipment, whose rate is based on staffing, OEE rates can be changed easily to match the actual rate on the line based on the Operator headcount during the shift. Names or employee numbers of staff on the line can also be captured.

Why is an Operator Interface Panel required?

The Operator Interface Panel is used for a number of purposes. Where Work Order and Product OEE information is required, the Interface Panel is used to load the order onto the production line or equipment. During the course of the order the Operator is offered the opportunity to add root-cause information to downtime and yield-loss events and the Panel is used to display real-time performance information to the Operator. Most importantly, the Operator Panel allows the continuous display of ActNow™ alarms which are critical to successfully implementing real-time performance improvement.

How many Operator Interface Panels will be required?

The number of Operator Interface Panels is normally dependant on the physical layout of the equipment. The Interface Panel needs to be positioned close enough to the equipment which is being monitored so that the Line Operators can easily and quickly reach the panels to enter or update data. Where a number of pieces of equipment are clustered together (e.g. a production cell) on panel is sufficient for all the WorkCentres in the cell. On a very long production line it may require a number of panels in order to maintain proximity to the Operators. The final number and location of Interface Panels will be determined during the implementation of the software.

Where is the PerformOEE™ software installed?

The PerformOEE™ software is normally installed on a dedicated OEE Server in the manufacturing plant.

Does PerformOEE™ have to be installed on a server on the manufacturing site in order to use the software?

No, OEEsystems International can provide PerformOEE™ hosted on an SaaS (Software as a Service) basis for business who do not wish to install the software locally. This is particularly relevant for evaluation of the software, rapid implementation of the software prior to a full local implementation or other temporary deployment of the software.

How is the production equipment protected from malicious software being downloaded from the network?

Although PerformOEE™ does not transmit any data to the machines, an optional firewall between the machine network and the ‘office’ network is recommended to provide additional protection from any malicious software that may occur on the ‘office’ network.

What happens in the event of a network failure or power outage?

PerformOEE™ is highly tolerant of network outages and recovers automatically from power outages. In the event of a network outage, in automatic data collection mode, the OPC server continues to log data from the equipment indefinitely until the network link recovers whereby it will automatically update the OEE Server. The data link to each machine is continually monitored for data quality (i.e. no break in data comms) and a problem with the machine data link is shown, in real-time, as an alert on the PlantWatch™ screen. These mechanisms ensure fully automatic recovery from power and network disturbances and minimise the risk of data loss.

Will PerformOEE™ operate over a wireless network?

PerformOEE™ operates over a conventional 802.3 wired LAN or an 802.11 compatible Wireless Network with appropriate network securities in place.

Will the equipment need to be validated after PerformOEE™ is installed?

When PerformOEE™ has been connected to the equipment it is not normally necessary to re-validate the equipment. No software is required to be installed on the equipment and PerformOEE™ does not communicate back to the equipment. Normally a standard operational verification and change control is sufficient to allow the equipment back into operation.

Ongoing Support, Training, Future Proofing & Continuous Improvement Questions

How long does it take to learn how to use PerformOEE™?

A basic user course for PerformOEE™ is completed in less than one day - the data-entry module being completed in a few hours. To accelerate the learning curve our Consultant will maintain a watching brief on the data during the implementation. OEEsystems International Executive Review post implementation further enhances the effectiveness of using the software.

What training is provided?

OEEsystems International’s PRISM™ implementation program includes training for users on the data collection, real-time performance feedback (ActNow™) and reporting from the system, as well as training for super- users on additional reporting and system configuration. All training is delivered on site by an OEEsystems International Consultant. Technical training for IT and Automation Engineering (e.g. database support and OPC support) is also available where required.

Is there a User Manual supplied with the software?

Yes, a comprehensive User Manual is available with the software, which includes user instructions, screen shots and search facilities to maximise the effectiveness of the training for each user.

How can extra lines, products and loss-codes be added?

All manufacturing parameters (e.g. WorkCentres, Products, OEE Rates, Downtime Codes, Quality (Yield) Loss Reasons, Targets, Costs, etc.) can be modified by an authorised user (with Administrator access privileges) using the Manager Module.

What machines rates should be used for OEE?

OEEsystems International recommend that the validated machine rate is used for each WorkCentre to calculate OEE performance. The validated rate is the maximum achievable rate for the WorkCentre when running uninterrupted. Where rates are not known in advance PerformOEE™ can establish the capable speeds of the equipment on an iterative basis. WorkCentres that are not OEE based (e.g. Dispensing) can also be monitored against their standard times . These are configured not to roll up into the overall OEE calculations.

How can the financial value of an improvement in OEE performance be calculated?

The OEEsystems International financial model also calculates the value of a percentage increase in OEE for each WorkCentre.

How will I know if I am using PerformOEE™ to best advantage?

In order to maximise the benefit of the software to the business, OEEsystems International offer an Executive Review to the Customer’s Management Team on how the software is performing within 6-8 weeks after the software has been installed. Something here about annual review.