7 Best Practices to Improve OEE and Productivity


One of the most common ways to measure a machine’s effectiveness and productivity is by using the Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) metric. OEE takes into account downtime, cycle time, quality rates and yields, changeover times, and preventative maintenance to measure how well a machine or process is working.

The higher your OEE number is for each machine or process, the better it’s working.

If you’re looking for ways to improve your OEE scores across the board, try implementing these seven best practices:

Eliminate Downtime

Downtime is a major problem in manufacturing, and it can be due to many different sources. Poor maintenance, inadequate quality control, poor communication, and insufficient training are all common causes of downtime. If you want to improve overall equipment effectiveness and productivity, it’s important to eliminate these causes of downtime whenever possible.

It’s also important that your team members know exactly when they should stop working on a particular machine or piece of equipment so that they can avoid unnecessary downtime before starting up again later. For example: “When Bob doesn’t show up at 2 p.m., stop working.”

Reduce Cycle Time

Reducing cycle time is a critical way to improve overall equipment effectiveness and productivity.

It’s impossible to improve your equipment effectiveness metrics if you don’t know what they are, but it can be difficult to figure out where the inefficiencies of your process lie. Identify the bottlenecks and slowest parts of your processes, then identify potential improvements that could help these areas run more efficiently.

In some cases, improving efficiency will require an investment in new technology or equipment that allows workers to perform tasks faster or with fewer steps involved (for example 3D printers). But there are also low-cost ways to reduce cycle time without costly investments—for example paperless systems for recordkeeping instead of manual filing cabinets; digital dashboards that show real-time data versus paper printouts; GPS navigation systems instead of maps printed out by someone who doesn’t know how much distance has been covered since the last trip started…the list goes on and on!

Monitor Quality

You want your equipment to be as effective and productive as possible, and to do that, you need to make sure it’s working at its best. That means monitoring the quality of your equipment regularly. The more you know about how well it’s doing, and what areas need improvement, the easier it will be to make those improvements happen.

The term “quality” is often used interchangeably with other terms like “performance” or “efficiency,” but they aren’t quite the same thing. Quality refers specifically to how well you meet your customer’s needs; performance is how well something works; efficiency is how much work gets done with a given amount of resources (like time or money).

Increase Yields

  • Increasing yields. When you increase the yield of your equipment, you are essentially increasing the number of products that are successfully produced, accepted by customers, and shipped to customers. This means that as a manufacturer you can perform more manufacturing processes with fewer people and it allows for more flexibility in production schedules.
  • Improving quality control. You can improve quality control by using better manufacturing or inspection equipment such as laser vision systems or 3D scanning technology which helps companies identify defects faster than before so they can fix them before they become big problems later on down the road when an entire batch might be defective if not caught early enough

Improve Changeovers

Changeovers are the time that a machine is not in production. These occur when the product is transferred from one product to another and can be reduced by having the right tooling on hand.

The time it takes to change over a machine should be considered when trying to improve overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) and productivity as it is an important part of both OEE and productivity. If you have ever been involved in manufacturing, you know how slow this process can be; there’s almost always something missing or a problem with what you’re doing that slows down your changeover and causes an outage in production.

This makes it difficult for any manufacturer who wants to increase their efficiency through lean manufacturing practices like 5S or just make sure all workers understand how their roles contribute to the overall operation of each facility.

Implement 5S

5S is a systematic approach to workplace organization, cleaning, and maintenance. 5S is a key component of lean manufacturing. It helps to eliminate waste and improve the quality of the workplace by creating an environment where documents are organized so they can be easily located when needed and preventing clutter that slows down production or increases the risk of injury.

5S is a simple concept that is easy to implement: Sort (classify), Straighten (align), Shine (clean), Standardize (create order) and Sustain (maintain).

Make Preventative Maintenance a Priority

One of the biggest challenges with maintenance is that it’s often viewed as a necessary evil and not a strategic part of your business. When you consider how much time and effort goes into keeping machines working properly, it’s easy to see why this mindset exists. But if you want to improve overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) and productivity, preventative maintenance must become an integral part of your operation—and here are some best practices to get started:

  • Make Preventative Maintenance a Priority
  • Train Your Staff on Preventative Maintenance Practices
  • Implement Equipment Condition Monitoring Systems
  • Create the complete OEE improvement strategy

Each of these best practices can help improve your OEE and productivity

  • OEE should be at the forefront of your operations. It’s a key metric that will tell you if you’re running your business efficiently. You can use it to determine which processes need improvement and then focus on making improvements in those areas.
  • Productivity is another important metric to keep track of. To improve productivity, you need to look at other factors besides just efficiency—you also need to look at productivity per worker per shift or machine hour, for example.
  • Make sure that all workstations have the right tools (office supplies, mobile devices, etc.). This includes everything from pencils and paperclips up through complex machinery such as milling machines or CNC lathes; computers with adequate RAM/HDD; scanners; printers; copiers; calculators…you get the picture! The bottom line here is that employees should never have excuses not to do their jobs because they don’t have access to basic tools needed for their job function(s).


We hope you’ve found this article helpful. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out! We know how important it is for your equipment to be running smoothly, and we can help. We can provide you with the best practices that will make your OEE higher and productivity better.


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