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The 5 Biggest Benefits of an OEE System


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The 5 Biggest Benefits of an OEE System

16 Aug 2022

John McCurdy
A production floor manager reviews real-time performance data via a dashboard.

Overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) solutions are designed to help manufacturing businesses like yours optimize processes and get the most out of both machinery and personnel to maximize efficiency and productivity. They do so by delivering a host of benefits that help you glean actionable insights in real time that drive process improvement without making sacrifices in quality.

If you’re familiar with OEE software, that may all be quite elementary to you, but if you’re considering implementing such a platform at your company, you’ll want more than just some passing knowledge of the basics. You need to know the details on the benefits that OEE offers, the tools that help you unlock them and what they’ll look like in practice in order to build your business case.

No need to rush off and conduct the research on your own, though—we’ve got you covered. Here, in no particular order, are the five biggest benefits of a purpose-built OEE system for manufacturers, as well as some context to understand how these solutions fit into a holistic digital transformation strategy.

1. Consistent Production Volume

Regardless of the industry that your organization serves, you know that at the end of the day productivity is the name of the game. Your clients are counting on you to fulfill your commitment to delivering all orders on time and in full, and only by consistently meeting those demands can you satisfy both the needs of the marketplace as well as your own goals for profitability.

OEE technology helps to maximize the chances that you’re able to hit your production targets by promoting the visibility of your manufacturing processes and providing up-to-date information on performance. With advanced metrics that demonstrate progress in great detail, you’ll feel in control of your operations from a high level all the way down to the granular.

And beyond that, advanced OEE systems like those Aptean offers also help you monitor sanitation, changeover, clean-in-place and tank change times so that you can know if any of these procedures are taking too long and keeping your employees away from more critical tasks. That further enhances your ability to ensure your resources are allocated appropriately for maximum production capacity.

2. More Efficient Manufacturing Processes

Considering how busy the shop floor can get in manufacturing facilities, it can be easy to become intensely focused on particular tasks or aspects of operations while assuming that every other part of the whole is continuing to function as originally intended. Truth be told, you must keep your finger on the pulse of what’s happening with all your lines in order to ensure they’re still giving you the results you expect.

By providing you a live look in on your processes, an OEE platform can help you identify what’s working and what’s not so that you can strive for continuous improvement. With the right software on your side, you can identify and flag potential issues as they occur, and your staff can intervene to rectify the underlying issues.

The Performance and Analytics modules of Aptean’s OEE systems work in tandem to make a positive impact on your process efficiency, as the former tracks the results of your processes and provides immediate updates while the latter crunches the numbers and yields insights that can make a difference for your bottom line. Analytics also entails an easy-to-use Microsoft Power Business Intelligence viewer to track your KPIs and explore opportunities for improvement with machine learning.

3. Reduced Waste, Scrap and Rework

Few incidents cause more heartburn in the manufacturing industry than finding out that a portion—or worse yet, all—of a run will have to be scrapped due to defects that resulted from imperfections in the production process. Not only do such occurrences hamper your ability to meet plan attainment and require inconvenient and expensive rework, but they also represent significant financial losses due to the materials consumed without any opportunity to recoup your initial expenses.

Because an OEE system can help you pinpoint where quality losses are occurring in real time, your personnel will be more capable of correcting equipment or process problems to avoid scrap and eliminate waste. And with a truly purpose-built solution from a provider that understands your needs, you’ll have that visibility all the way from the initial stages to product packaging.

A great example of this benefit in action can be seen in the case of an Aptean client in the gluten-free bakery sector. The company was able to deploy Aptean Process Manufacturing OEE and integrate the system with its imaging equipment to track scrapped loaves as they were identified and then leverage the dedicated Improve module to prevent such avoidable losses in the future.

Better still, our OEE solutions can even automate some quality assurance checks by integrating with test equipment, collecting real-time data and triggering alerts when readings are outside acceptable ranges. The Quality module is also a fully digital and paperless way for your operators to monitor and manage vital procedures while maintaining total compliance, while the Continuous Improvement module allows you to create initiatives based on your analyses and track progress.

4. Minimal Idling Time and Short Stops

Idling machinery and stops on your production lines—no matter how short they may be—can really drag down your operational efficiency and put your goals for plan attainment in doubt. It’s even more frustrating when you’re unable to determine what the cause of the halt in production is and team members have to scramble as the minutes of downtime add up.

A good OEE platform will give you the transparency into your manufacturing processes that you need to swiftly discern why stoppages are occurring and how they can be avoided in the future. That, in turn, helps you avoid losses that occur at startup and other critical transitionary points in the day’s schedule, as you’ll be able to anticipate potential setbacks and overcome them with smart decision-making.

Aptean client Litehouse Foods implemented Aptean Process Manufacturing OEE and was able to determine that instead of the 60 to 70% estimated uptime, utilization was actually between 18 and 25%. The company was then able to address the root issues resulting in excess downtime and quickly unlock a 25% improvement with the help of our best-in-class solution.

5. Greater Shop Floor Accountability

As important as your equipment is, your employees also play a primary role in the overall effectiveness of your operations. While you no doubt trust the well-qualified professionals that make up your staff, it pays to know how well they’re fulfilling their responsibilities in practice to best understand how you can set them up for success down the line.

OEE solutions allow you to break down performance by shift and crew, showing you which time periods and teams are generating the results you want and where you can shore up your strategy. These platforms also enhance your people’s ability to collaborate, giving them a single unified dashboard that gives everyone a “single source of truth” when it comes to the day’s plans and ongoing issues.

Aptean’s OEE platforms also have complete labor planning and tracking features so that you can manage the deployment of your workforce to control costs. What’s more, our solutions come with role-specific views and more than 12 different languages out of the box, making their experience more user-friendly and keeping your workforce connected with the rest of the organization.

Drawing Up an Optimal Digital Transformation Strategy with Aptean

Now that you’ve got a firm grasp on the benefits of OEE systems, you may be eager to start exploring your options but at the same time lost as to how you can best evaluate the various offerings on the market given your business’s circumstances. It all starts with finding a solution that is truly tailored to your industry—software that claims to do everything for everyone frequently falls short when you need specific tools for highly specialized processes.

Whether you manufacture food and beverage products, personal care and cosmetics items, chemicals, nutraceuticals, computers and electronics, electrical equipment, fabricated metals or transportation equipment, Aptean has an OEE platform that is suited to your needs. We know the unique challenges you face thanks to decades of collective experience with the segments we serve and have leveraged that knowledge to create features that will help you succeed.

Furthermore, we offer more than OEE—our full suite includes enterprise resource planning (ERP), enterprise asset management (EAM), product lifecycle management (PLM) and transportation management systems (TMS), just to name a few. We also have complementary business platforms like Aptean Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), Aptean Pay and Aptean Business Intelligence for even greater coverage.

And for one final reason to consider Aptean your first choice as a business software solutions provider, consider our track record of successful OEE implementations and mission to act as a partner to our clients throughout the deployment and go-live phases. We strive to serve as a guide, providing best practices advise all along the way, and offer reliable IT support via dedicated teams that will help you get the most out of your system.

To learn more about Aptean’s OEE systems for food and beverage, process manufacturing and industrial manufacturing businesses, contact us today. We also welcome you to request a personalized demo to see the platform of your choice in action.

Leveraging Insights for Data-Driven Manufacturing Improvements

Real-time financial and efficiency metrics that OEE solutions provide can help your company act upon important insights and improve performance.