Manufacturing Tomorrow


How to Identify Underperforming Machines Using Shop Floor Optics

Jan 22, 2019
By: Jake R. Rohrer
Manufacturing and Distribution

Under current economic conditions, manufacturers are looking for machine efficiency metrics to help drive increased production throughput without incurring large capital costs of new equipment and manufacturing space.

The most commonly accepted measure of machine productivity is overall equipment effectiveness (OEE). Defined as the percentage of a machine’s planned production time that is truly productive, OEE allows manufacturers to easily determine their most and least productive machines. The statistic seeks to summarize the three most important factors to a manufacturer: producing parts as often as possible, manufacturing as quickly as possible and producing quality parts.

The OEE calculation is expressed by the following formula:

Availability x Performance x Quality

Availability is the amount of time that a machine is producing parts versus the amount of time it is scheduled to produce parts. It seeks to understand the question: “When it’s scheduled to run, how often is the machine in cycle?”

Availability = In Cycle Time / Scheduled Time

Performance is the actual cycle achievement of a machine relative to its expected cycle time under ideal circumstances. It seeks to understand the question: “When the machine is in cycle, how close is the machine’s actual cycle to the standard?”

Performance = Ideal Cycle Time x Actual Units / Run Time

Quality is the number of good parts produced compared to the total number of parts. It seeks to understand the question: “How often is the machine producing a good part the first time?”

Quality = Good Parts / Total Parts

To help capture OEE, manufacturers are turning to industrial internet of things (IIoT) applications such as Shop Floor Optics. Using a combination of physical components and cloud computing, Shop Floor Optics visualizes the productivity of each piece of equipment. The OEE statistic is prevalent throughout the software and helps expose underperforming equipment.

How to Identify Underperforming Machines Using Shop Floor Optics-Machine Metrics

Graphic from MachineMetrics

When Shop Floor Optics is connected, the machine wirelessly transmits signals to the cloud every second. Real-time data is displayed on interactive dashboards and reports to give users the most powerful continuous improvement tool on the market. With revolutionary visibility to the shop floor, manufacturers can transition the conversation from “Where in the plant are we losing productivity?” to “How do we improve the uptime of workstation A during first shift?”

In addition to implementing this state-of-the-art technology, Wipfli data scientists and process consultants work with your plant leadership to turn outstanding data into intelligent insights and action plans. Our 360-degree approach helps your company transition from reactionary behavior to proactive manufacturing solutions. Contact us to learn more.


Jake R. Rohrer
Senior Consultant
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