In the face of extreme supplier shortages, record inflation and fluctuating demand, operational efficiency is vital for survival and growth. OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) is a key metric that helps manufacturing businesses monitor their machine output and improve operational efficiency. It can help to identify bottlenecks in production and highlight key areas for improvement.
Research has shown that manufacturers who invest between £100,000 and £500,000 in digital technologies have seen productivity gains by as much as 50%. So the companies most likely to succeed are those who adapt their processes, digitalise their systems and embrace new technologies.
However finding the right technologies to invest in can be hard, with so many options on the market and so many different features to look out for. This blog post will explain what features to look out for, the different options on the market, and best practises to ensure a smooth implementation.
Key Features of Top OEE Monitoring Software
When investing into OEE software, there are other key features that you should look out for to ensure you are getting the most for your money.
Real-Time Performance Tracking
The heart of any effective OEE software is its ability to monitor equipment performance in real time. This refers to the continuous monitoring and recording of the performance of machines, processes, or systems as they operate. It provides instant feedback on various metrics such as speed, quality and efficiency, and more.
Downtime and Root Cause Analysis
Every moment of downtime is a missed opportunity for production. Top-tier OEE software shines a light on not just when and how often downtime occurs, but it digs deeper to uncover why. Whether it's mechanical failure, supply chain hiccups, or operator errors, understanding the root cause is the first step towards implementing effective solutions and drastically reducing downtime in the future.
Quality Management and Control
Manufacturing is not just about quantity; it's equally about quality. High-grade OEE software incorporates quality management features that scrutinise the quality of products being manufactured. This real-time oversight ensures that any deviation from the set quality standards is immediately caught and corrected, safeguarding your brand's reputation and reducing waste.
In today's digital age, no software is an island. The best OEE software offers robust integration capabilities, allowing it to seamlessly communicate with other systems such as ERP, MES, and SCM. This interconnectedness ensures a unified data ecosystem, enhancing decision-making processes with a holistic view of operations, inventory, and supply chain dynamics.
Asset utilisation is a measure of how effectively a business uses its assets to generate revenue or achieve its operational goals. It's a key performance indicator (KPI) that provides insights into the efficiency and productivity of a company's resources, including machinery, equipment, and labor. Asset utilisation is essential for identifying areas to improve and maximise your production, so it's good to look out for this feature when choosing an OEE software.
Choosing the Right OEE Software for Your Business
When choosing an OEE software, you need to make sure that not only does it have all the essential features, but that it will also cater to your specific business requirements. options can be daunting. However, focusing on a few key considerations can guide you to the ideal solution that aligns with your business's unique needs.
- Compatibility: Your chosen software should easily integrate with your existing technology stack. This ensures a smooth transition and avoids the need for expensive overhauls.
- Ease of Use: Complex software can become a hurdle rather than a help. Employee buy-in is a huge aspect of a successful tech implementation, you don't want something that is so complicated that your team can't use it. Make sure you look for intuitive interfaces that your team can quickly adapt to, ensuring widespread adoption and maximised benefits.
- Scalability: Your business will grow, and so should your software. Opt for solutions that can scale in tandem with your business, avoiding the need to switch systems down the line.
- Analytical Depth: Beyond collecting data, your OEE software should offer deep insights and analytics. It should empower you to make data-driven decisions to enhance productivity and efficiency. Make sure that your chosen OEE software will provide you with the key reports that you need to successfully drive growth within your business.
It's also key to take a closer look at the providers behind the software. Consider their industry experience, customer support offerings, and the flexibility of their solutions. Providers that offer comprehensive training, robust customer service, and a history of innovation are often the best partners in your OEE journey.
Implementing OEE Software: Best Practices
Once you have decided on the OEE software for your business, you will need to implement this with your current systems. This is a straight forward process and does not require any operation downtime. However, it's important to follow the below best practise to ensure a successful transition.
- Define Clear Objectives: What specific goals do you aim to achieve with OEE software? Increased productivity? Reduced downtime? Clear objectives guide your implementation strategy.
- Involve Key Stakeholders: From the shop floor to the top floor, ensure that all relevant parties are engaged and supportive of the new system. This ensures buy-in and smooth adoption.
- Pilot Test: Start small with a pilot program to validate the software's fit for your operations. This allows for adjustments before a full rollout.
- Comprehensive Training: Equip your team with the knowledge and skills to leverage the software fully. This includes not just initial training but ongoing education to keep up with updates and best practices.
- Monitor and Adjust: Once fully implemented, continuously monitor the system's performance and user feedback. Be prepared to make adjustments to workflows and processes to fully capitalise on the software's capabilities.
Best of breed OEE Monitoring Software
Busroot by Output.Industries is an OEE and production monitoring platform that provides accurate and real-time information on the status of all your machines, processes and production orders. It allows you to effortlessly manage and optimise your production workflows, so that if a machine goes down, Busroot will notify the correct person immediately. This way the individual can implement the correct fix, and keep downtime to a minimum.
It accurately monitors OEE, downtime, asset utilisation and more, and highlights key areas for improvement. It also has an intuitive and user friendly interface, so your employees won't have to worry about learning a complex new system.
One of the main ways in which Busroot stands out from the pack is it's innovative data capture. Most OEE monitoring platforms place a device around your power cables, not directly touching them. They then use currency signals to infer that the machine is working. Whereas Busroot uses IoT technology to connect devices directly onto your machines. It then uses a production signal to confirm a production cycle. So while other OEE softwares are guessing whether your machines are working or not, Busroot knows whether they are.
Busroot also uses your historical data to identify your fastest cycle time, whereas other OEE softwares simply use assumptions based on their inferred currency signals. This allows for more accurate production tracking, and more accurate OEE data.
Key features of Busroot include:
- OEE Monitoring
- Real-time Production Monitoring
- Downtime Detection
- Asset Utilisation
- Cycle Time Analysis
- Intuitive Operator Tablet
- Quality Tracking
- Accurate Data Capture
- Maintenance Management
- Easy Integration with MES & ERP
Busroot has a tiered pricing structure, starting at £150 per machine for 1-10 machines. Costs then decrease as you increase number of machines, providing valuable cost savings.
Output.Industries have also been awarded funding from Innovate UK, which will enable 25 organisations to implement Busroot into their shop-floor for no cost! Get in touch today to see if you can benefit from this amazing opportunity.
Busroot by Output.Industries is trusted by many leading manufacturers, including Apollo Tyres Ltd, A1 Bacon Co. Ltd, Jack Masters and Prism Medical UK.
"We now feel like we're at the forefront of production. We now finally know what's happening in real-time on the shop-floor, not at the end of the day or next morning." Robert C, A1 Bacon
By taking a structured approach to choosing and implementing OEE software, you can unlock significant improvements in manufacturing efficiency and productivity. Remember, the goal is not just to collect data, but to harness it in driving actionable insights and continuous improvement across your operations. Be sure to spend time assessing your business needs and finding a software that fits your goals.