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Metrics to Measure for Effective Production Monitoring

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By Emilie A Lachance - November 16, 2020

Continuous production monitoring is vital to remaining profitable and competitive in today’s manufacturing environment. The number of production metrics that can be monitored and calculated is nearly countless, especially with current technology. The production metrics you’ll want to monitor should be related to your production goals. In this article, we help you discern between commonly measured production KPIs and select which you’ll want to focus on to achieve your manufacturing profitability improvement goals.

There are three general types of metrics used for production monitoring.

  • Process speed metrics are relevant to the speed at which production occurs.
  • Production efficiency metrics indicate how much time is spent on production and how much is lost to downtime. 
  • Quality metrics indicate the quality of products produced and highlight where improvements can be made based on rejects.

Process Speed

Production Performance

The first production monitoring process speed metric is performance, which refers to the ratio of the ideal cycle time to the average actual cycle time. This can be represented either as a decimal value or as a percentage. It is important to know that, although it is theoretically possible, in practice, this number will never reach a value of 1.0 or 100 percent. 

Production performance is a good indicator of the speed of production, and it can vary in scale from the speed of an individual machine to the production speed of an entire facility. It is also one of the values used to calculate overall equipment effectiveness (OEE).

Production Manufacturing Cycle Time

Production manufacturing cycle time is the time from the beginning to the end of a manufacturing process. This can include all the time it takes to pass through all machines, processes, and cycles, ending with the finished product. However, this metric can vary in scope to focus on the time it takes to pass through a single machine or cycle. Cycle time is useful when trying to find specific areas within a facility where production is slower than others, because it often focuses on products going through one specific line.

Production Changeover Time

Production changeover time is the time that elapses during the process of converting a machine or line from running one process to another. Measuring the speed at which this switch happens can help identify where there is room for improvement between processes in manufacturing. Understanding this metric can also help decrease manufacturing cycle time over the course of a process.

Production Throughput

Production throughput measures the average number of units produced on an individual machine or line over a certain period of time. When throughput drops, it is a loud and clear indicator that there are problems in production. 

Production Perfect Order Percentage

Production perfect order percentage refers to the percentage of orders shipped in full on time as the percentage of all orders. This percentage can indicate the speed of production and the ability of the facility to reliably deliver orders to customers on time. Depending on the value of this metric, it can either strengthen or weaken relationships with customers.

Production Efficiency

Production Availability

The ratio of actual operating time to planned production time is called availability. Operating time refers to planned production time minus downtime. Availability can be expressed as a decimal or percentage, and if all of the planned production time was used to manufacture the product, the value would be 1.0 or 100 percent.

Unfortunately, this is rarely possible because small downtime events occur almost daily, meaning the full planned production time often isn’t used. This is one of the values used in calculating OEE

Production Capacity Utilization 

Production capacity utilization expresses how much of manufacturing output capacity is being utilized at once. This metric can be expressed as a percentage, and it usually refers to the percentage of machines or lines that are currently operating. It is a good indicator of downtime events occurring throughout a facility and can highlight which lines or machines frequently experience issues.

Planned Production vs. Emergency Maintenance

Planned production versus emergency maintenance is a measurement of which maintenance events are planned versus which are unexpected or emergencies. This metric can be a good way to find and reduce instances of unplanned work. It is expressed as a percentage of maintenance hours that are spent on planned maintenance.

Quality

Production Quality

Production quality is the amount of good products out of the total products produced. This metric often refers to non-reworked or first pass products, and it can be expressed as a decimal or percentage. This is the third and final value used to calculate OEE. 

Production Yield

Production yield can be broken up into two types of yield. First-pass yield is the same as quality and refers to the percentage of products manufactured correctly without need for rework. The second type is overall yield, which includes first-pass yield as well as products that eventually meet quality standards after rework. 

Production Rejects and Returns

Production rejects and returns is an essential quality metric. This metric is a direct value of how many times customers reject or return products because they do not meet expectations or specifications. This value can be a strong indicator of the quality of products and the frequency of errors in production. 

OEE

Some production monitoring metrics can be calculated using the metrics listed above, but the comprehensive production metric is OEE. 

Overall equipment effectiveness is a lean manufacturing and continuous improvement tool. It is based on three manufacturing metrics—quality, performance, and availability—and is intended to condense the value and meaning of each metric into one score, indicating the efficiency of a machine, line, or entire facility. 

OEE is the product of the three values listed above. OEE is expressed as a percentage, with 100 percent OEE meaning that only high-quality units were produced as fast as possible with no downtime. A 100 percent OEE score is impossible to achieve in practice, but some highly efficient facilities have achieved OEE scores of above 80 percent. 

Monitoring the metrics discussed above can give managers important insights into how to systematically improve their manufacturing processes, whether that be process speed, production efficiency, or quality. Using software like Worximity can provide the real-time manufacturing data needed to uncover and address each of the metrics described above. 

Maximize Your Factory's Effectiveness

Using a system like Worximity gives you access to production data at your fingertips and enables you to prioritize these metrics based on the data, so you can address those that will produce the most economic value first. Additionally, each of these metrics contributes to the overall important manufacturing metric of OEE. OEE is directly linked to the financial performance of the business

When companies plan improvement projects but don’t monitor these production methods, they fly blind when looking for areas to improve. Worximity provides you with all of the data you need to drive manufacturing performance improvement in a cost-effective and easy-to-implement tool. 

Using Worximity, you can quickly and efficiently assess your current manufacturing OEE performance and determine the quickest path to OEE improvement. That’s why a great way to start with establishing your production monitoring metrics is to sign up for an OEE assessment! 

Receive a 30-day OEE Audit to measure downtime and throughput.

Worximity provides simple realtime technologies to solve food processor pains such as downtime, rejects, waste, overtime; helping them gain profit velocity by improving throughput, yield and OEE.

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