European Threat Perspective

Overall Equipment Effectiveness – it isn’t just for other people

18 October 2021

“Knowledge is power”, a quote often attributed to Francis Bacon in 1597. If we look at trying to improve the efficiency of a factory, or a production line, knowledge is often the critical missing element.

OEE is a measure of how well a manufacturing operation is utilised compared to its full potential, during the periods when it is scheduled to run.

The foreman, line manager etc. may have a gut feeling when production is being lost but cannot quantify it or identify exactly what is causing it.

Monitoring product throughput at various locations in the process will identify where and when production slows. The cause of the slowdown can then be investigated. One of the key elements to ascertain the cause of a slowdown is to be able to experience it in real time. Knowing that production was lost at 2pm on the day before isn’t helpful, as you are unable to identify what happened.

This is where Turck Banner can assist. 

The OEE starter kit, called the Production Performance Monitoring kit (PPM), comprises a wireless, battery powered sensor, a controller and a three-month cloud connection. It is designed for the first-time user with everything included to monitor one location and receive warnings when the throughput falls.

The PPM kit is a simple, cost effective, self-contained solution. No programming is necessary and the auto dashboarding feature provides lots of actionable information with minimal user set up. Data logging is provided by the controller and the cloud is used for dashboard display and analysis.

To use the PPM kit, the wireless sensor can be easily mounted on the machine and left in place to count passing parts. The parts per minute count is then transferred wirelessly to the controller which logs and interprets the data. This data can be displayed as a graph of parts per minute overtime showing Planned Stops, Unplanned Stops, Small stops and Slow cycles. At this point the operator can decide if this location is of interest or move the sensor to a new location on the machine, at which time the process starts again. 

If the location is of interest, i.e., showing periods where the production is slowing, alerts can be set up. When the production drops below the alert level a message is sent to the person conducting the investigation. This enables them to look at the location in order to identify the cause of the lost production. If the cause is not obvious, the problem may be upstream from the current location, in which case the sensor can be easily relocated, and the monitoring process repeated until the fault is identified. 

Alternatively, a second sensor can be added to the controller and installed at a new location upstream of the first. Comparative data is now available, making it easier to track down the source of the lost production identified by the first sensor.

When the origin of the lost production has been identified, and a solution has been put in place, the PPM kit can be used to quantify the improvement. The kit can then be relocated to track down the next area of interest on the same machine or transferred to another area in the factory.

As production issues frequently occur at different places in a production line, and can be seasonal or develop over time, the PPM kit is ideal for monitoring key equipment and can often become a permanent addition to the production line.

Up to 47 wireless sensors can be connected to a single starter kit. The controller is pre-programmed for the 47 sensors and has the capability to expand into a large-scale monitoring system, which can integrate into existing local and cloud networks.

The current performance condition is displayed on a web interface as a Green, Amber or Red icon, with all the historical data shown at the touch of the icon. The web interface allows remote condition display from any browser on any smart phone, tablet or PC. When this is combined with text alerts, personnel have instant access to the monitoring system whenever they need it. 

The customer is not locked into the pre-programmed cloud configuration. At any time, the controller can be connected to local networks, SCADA, PLCs or other cloud systems. This allows external data gathering, analysis, and integration into existing systems, such as DCS or CMS.

The low cost of ownership, simple setup and flexibility of the kit allows a first-time user to investigate the benefits of OEE without having to commit huge resources.

The return on investment is usually measured in days and is often reinvested to expand the system.

This simple low-cost kit provides the knowledge and power to enable continuous improvement of the Overall Equipment Effectiveness of the factory, at a price and complexity that allows anyone to reap the benefits, not just those with vast resources.

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European Threat Perspective

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