How to Improve OEE with Smart Manufacturing Technologies

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) defines “smart manufacturing” as “fully-integrated, collaborative manufacturing systems that respond in real time to meet changing demands and conditions in the factory, in the supply network, and in customer needs.” In short, smart manufacturing is the optimization of every aspect of the value stream via interconnected solutions that facilitate automation, real-time monitoring, and continuous data analysis to increase efficiency and productivity.

Improving OEE Performance

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) “smart manufacturing” “fully-integrated, collaborative manufacturing systems that respond in real-time to meet changing demands and conditions in the factory, in the supply network, and in customer needs.” In short, smart manufacturing is the optimization of every aspect of the value stream via interconnected solutions that facilitate automation, real-time monitoring, and continuous data analysis to improve OEE, efficiency and productivity.

The IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) plays a significant part in smart manufacturing and improving overall equipment effectiveness (OEE), helping organizations transform traditional linear operations to interconnected operations and production systems that communicate, adapt, collect, exchange, and analyze data. While it would seem that all manufacturers would welcome solutions that promise to improve efficiency and productivity, not all are so sure of the need to invest in newfangled technologies. Failing to keep up with the ever-evolving technological landscape, however, is a mistake.

How to Improve OEE

1. Collect your Machine Data

First, you must have a process for machine monitoring in order to gather your machine’s data.  In order to increase your efficiency, you need to also monitor machine uptime and downtime. With visibility to this type of data in your operation, you can take the first step in improving your operation’s OEE.
There are a lot of options in today’s market, but Freedom® AI’s OEE monitoring software is one of the only few products that offer automated intelligence related to asset availability, performance, and quality as well as machine and process health data.


2. Assess and Analyze Performance

In order to take this data into action, you’re going to need insight into production asset data to improve efficiency. Ideally, you will need reports and analytics for optimization of machine health, process health, and OEE from the shop floor to the top floor.
With Freedom AI’s eLog software will show you planned versus actual run time – in real-time – for any industrial asset, providing the insights you need to achieve smooth, uninterrupted, highly profitable production.


3. Understand Your Operation’s Efficiency

Now that you have your machine monitoring and an IIOT platform set up, you can start to get highly detailed reports on production and machine utilization.  These reports should allow insight into tracking the amount of time spent in various production categories, how time is being spent on inefficient activities, unscheduled downtime, or other machine health issues  Analyzing and comparing these results by shift and production time will help you make optimizations and continuous improvements to your operation.
Freedom AI’s shift reports eliminate communication gaps and automatically record relevant details for efficient operations.


4. Set up Automated Notifications & Reports

Make the entire machine monitoring process easier by receiving customized notifications and alerts.  Keep production on track sent to you based on the activities that matter the most. Whether you would like to have an automated report sent to you based on time or a message sent based on an alarm such as machine downtime, Freedom AI will keep you up to date on what information matters most to you.


5. Maximize Efficiency with an OEE Automated Dashboard

An OEE dashboard is a visibility tool that displays real-time OEE scores in an easy-to-understand, all-in-one location visual format.  Using a real-time dashboard, plant managers, quality managers, and production supervisors gain insights into their operations, that can provide unique data to their respective roles and situation.
For more information on our OEE dashboards, click here.


The Benefits of Smart Manufacturing Technologies

Investing in the right smart manufacturing technologies can help boost the bottom line, expand the customer base, and enhance an organization’s competitive edge. Integrated and connected, smart manufacturing systems help to:

1. Increase productivity

Smart machines streamline production processes, increasing efficiencies and reducing errors, lags, downtime, and redundancies. Increasing manufacturing efficiency helps to boost the bottom line and save valuable time and money.

2. Improve product quality

Real-time production monitoring promotes optimal operational efficiency and overall equipment effectiveness (OEE), enabling managers to proactively identify and address defects, improving quality at every stage of the value stream.

3. Enhance operational agility

Integration of system-wide data, collected from physical, operational, and human assets drives efficiency and agility, reducing production downtime and improving a manufacturer’s ability to predict and avoid potential failures and adjust to changes in demand. Transitioning a traditional plant floor into a connected and fully integrated one is just the first step. It is also essential to implement production manufacturing software into operations to improve overall equipment effectiveness (OEE). Optimizing OEE ensures operations run effectively and efficiently as possible.  Producing high-quality parts, as quickly as possible with no stop time.

The Need for Production Monitoring Software

Today’s competitive manufacturing environment requires that organizations achieve optimal performance from each machine, in addition to continuously increasing efficiency and reducing costs across the value stream. Affordable and easy-to-use production monitoring and analysis software helps manufacturers do just that, simplifying the collection, analysis, and application of real-time data, and expediting more efficient, responsive, proactive, and predictive operations.
It’s crucial that organizations choose the solution that is suitable to their unique operation, budget, and goals. The right software can help to identify bottlenecks and inefficiencies, streamline processes, reduce production lags and downtime, improve operational efficiency and overall equipment effectiveness (OEE), improve product quality, cut costs, and more.
For example, Caterpillar Inc., the world’s leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial turbines and diesel-electric locomotives, turned to Freedom AI after other asset monitoring solutions proved too cumbersome. Within just 12 months, Freedom AI helped CAT realize tremendous gains, including:

  • A $1.2 million increase in production value
  • 59%, reduction in delay times
  • 39% decrease in part setup times
  • 30% increase in in-cycle time

Freedom AI‘s analytics intelligent OEE software platform provides real-time metrics from any industrial asset on the plant floor. Providing 24/7 access to the assets performance for up-time, downtime, Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE), and the contributing factors for improvements.
Contact us today to learn more about how smart manufacturing software can help to transform your shop floor, boost productivity and improve asset effectiveness.

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