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Avoid Overemphasizing OEE in the Manufacturing Industry

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By Emilie A Lachance - April 08, 2020

In the manufacturing industry, OEE can be a powerful tool for helping guide and manage a production operation. Between monitoring the overall OEE score and analyzing its components, a manager can make real-time production line adjustments.

This has never been truer than today as food manufacturers face sudden spikes in demand in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Ramping up production quickly and moving more product to market is the key to keeping grocery store shelves stocked.

Whether this sudden demand is brief or long-term, Worximity’s Smart Factory analytics can help lead the way. By analyzing OEE and its components, a company can identify specific areas that need attention, then immediately address those areas to increase throughput and volumes. Worximity is here to help, and, should you have questions, our technical consultants are ready to work with you.

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However, overemphasizing high OEEs may inadvertently cause other elements of the entire manufacturing process to deteriorate. Keeping a good handle on what is most important in manufacturing helps a manager maintain steady and profitable results.

Interested in learning more about how to make your factory work smarter, not  harder? Get advice from Worximity Industry 4.0 experts when you download one of  our e-books. Check them all out here>>

OEE Is Not Useful in All Situations

OEE is not always useful, and there are a number of disadvantages to solely focusing on this metric.

  1. OEE in the manufacturing industry should be concentrated on optimizing a machine or production line. Balancing production plant-wide may mean that some lines will operate at lower-than-desirable (and lower-than-attainable) OEE values.
  2. Upstream improvements—for example, changes made at a supplier—can positively impact line OEE, but it can be challenging to determine where the improvements originated.
  3. OEE values can sometimes hide an underlying problem or opportunity. All OEE components should be analyzed to get a full picture of performance.
  4. Incorrectly calculating OEE may yield misleading results. For example, not including scheduled stops may hide the fact that opportunity exists for reducing planned downtime.
Performance Measures Across the Plant Are Interconnected

It is important to recognize that elements of a successful manufacturing operation are interconnected and work together to drive total outcomes. Monitoring OEE, along with other KPIs, helps achieve excellent results. For example, Amalgamated Dairies Limited achieved a 14 percent increase in productivity and a 15 percent reduction in downtime using data from Worximity's Smart Factory analytics system. By analyzing a range of data, managers were able to make significant improvements. Other companies realized as much as a doubling in profits with increases in plant availability and efficiencies values by six points each. In addition, these companies were able to achieve this improvement while maintaining quality at a constant value.

Key Performance Indicators That Really Matter

For managers tasked with supervising the factory floor, OEE in the manufacturing industry delivers the correct data types and details required to be effective. Worximity's Smart Factory analytics software provides needed data accurately and in real time. For example, should COVID-19 impact process operations, companies with real-time Tileboard monitoring will be especially well positioned to manage any production interruptions. Getting up and running following any process shutdown will be easier and faster with Worximity’s systems.

In addition to OEE, many other performance indicators are also useful and valuable. The following are some of the most important metrics at the production line level.


Downtime includes both scheduled stops, such as changeovers, and unscheduled stops, such as emergency breakdowns and repairs. Reducing downtime can result in significant savings, and downtime should be tracked and analyzed. Worximity's state-of-the-art Smart Factory analytics software provides functionality for monitoring both the amount of and reasons for downtime.


Throughput represents the amount of good product that passes through a machine or production line. Product throughput loss impacts the amount of shippable product available for customers. As a result, tracking throughput is important, and Worximity's real-time data collection and analysis provides the necessary throughput information.


Quality is a foremost concern for all manufacturing managers. OEE in the manufacturing industry contains components that present a value reflecting quality as the difference between good parts produced and total parts produced.


Worximity's giveaway monitoring tool offers managers direct, real-time measurements from scales, checkweighers, and counters. When correct fill rates and speeds are managed, product giveaways can be reduced. The results are increased yields and more uniform finished products.

OEE integrates nicely with other performance measures at both the production line and equipment levels. In addition, activities such as training, building positive company culture, and leadership all contribute to higher OEE values.

OEE is a robust measure for helping managers lead a production effort. However, other metrics and scores must also be taken into consideration to develop a holistic approach to plant management. Worximity has the systems and know-how to put OEE scores and other KPI data in the hands of supervisors and managers quickly and at reasonable costs. Contact Worximity today to schedule a demo or for a copy of our e-book, Smart Factory 101 for Manufacturers.

Smart Factory Analytics Ebook

The Worximity Smart Food Factory solution is a low-cost hardware system that can be up and running in a few hours combined with an easy and intuitive yet powerful analytics dashboard that provides fast ROI to start and a roadmap to full-on IIoT success.

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