Enhancing OEE calculations using exception-based surveillance

2 min read published on September 28 2022

One of IPCOS’s clients has plants all around the globe, from the United States to Italy to Germany, each with unique process operations and different principles in calculating performance, with Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) being the Key Performance Indicator (KPI). The management of the company initiated a digitalization program leading to the introduction of a new performance management tool aimed at centralizing all use cases. Production data had to be collated in the right frameworks for the tool to be fully utilized. So, the client had to streamline and standardize the data and make it available for OEE metric calculation.

IPCOS was contacted because of its domain expertise in the process industry and the Manufacturing Execution System (MES) space. The task was to translate each unique use case into a standard defined framework in the MES layer, fed into the chosen OEE tool. 

The technical and methodological approach 

To standardize generated records, IPCOS experts held multiple one-on-one sessions with key users of a process (Batch, Continuous or Semi-Continuous) on site, usually the Process Engineer. The aim was to identify how the processes were being operated, identify when the equipment was running, when it was not and define production and downtime records using standardized templates in the MES (Manufacturing Execution System). Depending on the MES used by a process, the corresponding software was used for the configuration.

The IPCOS team used an iterative methodology. The first session with a key user focused on requirements collection (MES layer maturity evaluation, parameters, sequences and logic were collated). These were configured in a test environment for a first run and then validated with the key user. Within two to three iterations, IPCOS received confirmation on the results of the events being captured and acceptance for the configuration was signed off. 

Duration and results  

The project duration greatly depended on the availability of the key users, who were predominantly occupied with daily plant operations. Other contributors included the OEE tool consultants and the client’s MES experts for documentation purposes and alignment on company-defined standards. 

Within four months, the project was nearing completion with the result being clear and concise records of production and downtime for each use case. These data records are stored in the client’s historian for further use.

This data was fed into the chosen OEE tool. It in turn, provided users with information on availability, performance, and quality losses for the OEE to be evaluated. Root cause analysis can further be done to improve the effectiveness of the process.  

The follow-up

The evidence of the success of the project was the level of acceptance by the key users. In the months following completion, IPCOS, together with the client, will embark on training key users on the OEE tool. There will also be knowledge transfer to POCs for self-maintenance of the MES configuration. Eventually, IPCOS will withdraw from active participation into support; letting the users analyze and account for operational losses independently. 

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