Metrics Improve Manufacturing Performance

In the Central Valley, Gurminder Sangha is the Advanced Manufacturing Deputy Sector Navigator for California Community Colleges. He can be a resource for businesses that are looking for ways to improve their processes using lean and other process improvement tools. Reach him at (559) 688-3047.

If your company is pursuing Continuous Improvement, you know how critical it is to establish baseline data on productivity, set goals and measure progress. Educating employees and making them a part of the solution has proven to be very effective.

Through contract training, several colleges work directly with employers to design professional development. By customizing on-site workshops to a company’s specific need, professional industry trainers can provide staff with tools that can immediately be applied on the plant floor. Training assures that all the employees have the same basic knowledge and instills confidence in their ability to contribute to the team.

For example, each piece of equipment can be analyzed to determine if it operating effectively. Machinery break down, set up time, work stoppages and quality problems all impact productivity. Overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) may be a metric that can help you determine the impact of these problems and work to make improvements to your operations and bottom-line.

An article in Industry Week on August 19, 2014, OEE – Learn How to Use It Right, provided an excellent description of using overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) as a metric. This article provides example calculations as well as tips for applying them. In addition, it describes misconceptions about OEE as a measure. The article also suggests focusing on the piece of equipment where you are experiencing a constraint so it can be understood and addressed. Then continue the process by identifying the next roadblock and analyzing it.

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