The innovations coming to the manufacturing world may not be brand new, but for many machine shops these evolutionary innovations, such as OEE (Operational Equipment Effectiveness) are still in the early adopter stage. “Lean Six Sigma” is one of the newer buzzwords being more frequently mentioned. The concept has been around for many years and its principles shared under a multitude of titles. For instance, this methodology has been called JIT, TQM (Total Quality Maintenance) and Kaizen to name a few.
Regardless of the vernacular used, overall, the meaning is the same. All of these terms describe the Standardization of processes and procedures to increase efficiency and bring more IFO (Income From Operations) to the company bottom line. In other words, what these programs can offer, is the ability to measure the effectiveness of a procedure, and evaluate any waste from Time, Inventory, Motion, Waiting, Over production, Over processing, Defects, and Skills.
These concepts have been around for a while but quite frankly not implemented effectively in many organizations outside of the enterprise level. Major corporations such as Toyota, Motorola, Ford, Chrysler and others in the Automotive, Medical, and Aerospace sectors have utilized these initiatives as a source of greater profit and efficiency for decades. It is now imperative for smaller and medium sized organizations to also adopt these strategies due to the competitive nature and flattening of the global economy.
The idea of eliminating waste is not just a mindset for employees themselves to generate optimal efficiency, but it’s an ideology that crosses over to machines as well. It is beneficial for machines to be monitored, to ensure they are running correctly and producing efficiently. The evolution of software and hardware that interfaces with machine tools whether they be CNC or Manual PLC based machinery has started gaining heavy traction in the manufacturing industry. Measuring efficiency and capacity in real-time so reactive measures can be deployed quickly is the goal all organizations are trying to achieve in order to increase overall profitability.
Getting rid of Muda (Wastefulness) needs to be the goal moving forward for smaller to medium shops. Waste creates constraints leading to profit losses, poor delivery, poor quality, and lower machine efficiency. Smaller companies have less cash flow to absorb these inefficiencies thus making it crucial to have the data to manage constraints in real-time.
Data Driven Manufacturing
Data Driven Manufacturing is another new buzzword that is an important concept to consider. Look at the sports world and all the analytics that are now used to determine how managers and coaches react to situational events in a game. Watch the movie “Money Ball” – the sports industry laughed and scoffed at Billy Bean who was the pioneer in using analytics to build a baseball team. The team the movie was based on, however, achieved one of the longest winning streaks ever in Major League Baseball. Fast forward to today and making data driven decisions is a practice used by most organizations. Using that same philosophy in manufacturing by capturing data in real-time to optimize efficiency and productivity can have a profound impact on increasing IFO.
OEE (Operational Equipment Effectiveness)
OEE (Operational Equipment Effectiveness) is a Six Sigma Concept that is gaining traction in the industrial industry and one of the most important pieces of data that can be mined to affect IFO.
OEE is made up of measuring three key components: Availability, Performance, and Quality.
An overall OEE score of 85% is considered world class. When initially installing its software to measure these three components in real-time at customer facilities Steiner has found most machines are under optimized and operating in the 30-40% range.
Now thinking about that a little more deeply, if a machine tool – which is the money maker in all manufacturing facilities – is only utilizing 35% of actual capacity available, then it is not running on all cylinders. Before purchasing a new machine tool, manufacturers should ensure existing equipment is being utilized at its maximum output capacity, thereby potentially avoiding the need to make a large capital investment. Steiner deploys a software solution that has solved this operational inefficiency problem for all machines in the industry, whether it be new CNC or older legacy CNC equipment.
The software solution can also extract this vital data from Stamping Equipment, Injection Molding Equipment, Screw Machine Equipment, and many other computerized and manually operated machines in the metal working industry. Steiner currently has installs optimizing many of these types of machines and can bring the technology to any manufacturing organization. Steiner application consultants can provide education and insights on the technology to help manufacturers better understand this innovative new data driven reporting. For more information about the software solution, please email or call 847-956-3125 to speak with a seasoned Steiner application expert.