OEE and cellular manufacturing

Q: Is it possible to use OEE for cellular manufacturing or is it only applicable for an assembly line? The productivity of the cells depent a lot on the number of workers. But it is always underlined that OEE does not measure the persons, just the maschine.

Arno Koch •    In principle OEE can be used to measure the effectiveness of ANY –machine related- conversion process. I am a little hesitant when I say ‘machine related’. It can also be used to find the losses in manual assembly processes or in surgery. When determining the theoretical maximum speed of a machine you will search for its physical limitations which leads to the theoretical maximum. In non-machine related processes this is more difficult and may lead to unwanted side effects. I.e. what is the maximum speed of a surgeon…?
When talking about a cell I assume there will be more than one machine, so the question is; which one- or how many you want to measure. There are several strategies possible to make the losses of the cell visible.

Effectiveness – Efficiency – Productivity

The next point is that OEE measures EFFECTIVENESS (the amount of output realized with a certain input. It does NOT make any statements about the EFFICIENCY (the amount of input to realize a certain output. So if your effectiveness goes up by using more workers, your efficiency goes down. Now you have to determine what bottom line the effect will be (this is your PRODUCTIVITY)

Measuring machines, not people. 

Your last sentence is crucial; I am happy we agree on this. This perspective may give you many answers: if you put yourselves in the shoes of the machine and ask yourselves: What is happening to me (the machine)? What would be best for me and the process I am part of? You may see things you missed before! Just try it!

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