Improving OEE – using a structured team based approach

20181109 Improving OEE Blog
by Ross Kennedy, 9 November 2018

A structured Overall Equipment Effectiveness or OEE Loss & Improvement Analysis is the most effective way to identify all the improvement opportunities to achieve perfect equipment performance as there are many issues that can impact on OEE performance. We have found breaking the issues down into three main types can assist to identify all the improvement opportunities.

The three main types of issues we have identified are:

  1. Technical;
  2. People Development; and
  3. Management.

Too often the focus is on the Technical issues such as equipment reliability reflected in Unplanned Recorded Downtime (Breakdowns), however our research has highlighted that Technical issues often make up less than 25% of the total losses.

Decisions by Management relating to structures, manning, rosters, planned downtime allowances such as clean-up time, breaks etc, as well as poor People Development of production and maintenance resulting in incorrect operation, poor set-up or changeover practices, poor equipment care (ensuring no looseness, no contamination and perfect lubrication) or poor or lack of ability to identify small problems at the earliest possible time by far contribute to the majority of losses.

We have also found there are 3 ways of capturing OEE Losses:

  1. High Level Measurement;
  2. Continuous Recording; and
  3. Sampling through Observation.

All 3 ways should be used in concert to ensure you have a holistic understanding of the losses.

Because of the above, we have found the OEE Loss & Improvement Analysis is best done with a properly structured Cross-functional Team of up to 8 people, as the self learning, especially from the observations, will challenge current beliefs and build relationships.

The make-up of the team is very important recognising the 1st Level Salary person such as the Supervisor, responsible for the performance of the targeted equipment or production line should lead the team. Ideally the team should include people from management to the shopfloor and cover production, maintenance, quality and planning.

Before establishing the Cross-functional Team the Improvement Manager / Co-ordinator / Specialist should conduct a Preparation Analysis (typically 16 tasks) that is overseen by the Site Leadership Team. This is critical for the success of the Cross-functional Team otherwise it may get bogged down with collecting basic information rather than conducting the critical People Development issues through surveys, diagnostics and observations.

Developing your Planned Downtime Model and establishing the OEE Baseline should also be completed before kicking off the Cross-functional Team.

If you would like to learn more about CTPM – The Centre for Australasian TPM & Lean, and our approach to OEE, contact myself Ross Kennedy at or purchase my OEE book using this link.

This was a review of the “Understanding, Measuring, and Improving Overall Equipment Effectiveness” book, published by CRC Press Taylor & Francis Group – Productivity Press.
OEE Book Cover


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