Overall equipment effectiveness (OEE), a term coined by Seiichi Nakajima in the 1960s, has become the golden measure of measuring manufacturing productivity. But OEE is not only a way for manufacturers to judge their operational efficiency; it’s also a benchmark for where they stand in their industry.

Measuring OEE gives manufacturers improved visibility into individual asset health, helps drive down costs, and improves both asset and process effectiveness.

However, OEE is notoriously difficult to measure objectively, and percentages vary wildly. Process and discrete manufacturing benchmarks for OEE look nothing like each other.

We’ve compiled results from different surveys and reports to present benchmarks for OEE in manufacturing today: What’s driving OEE, where different industries stand, and what measures manufacturers are taking to improve operational efficiency and effectively in their plants.

Here are the top business goals driving adoption of OEE measurement:

Manufacturers are driven to greater OEE efforts thanks to the high demands on production.

Consumers worldwide are demanding more. To keep up, manufacturers need to increase yield and reduce downtime, while reducing or preventing rapid increases in cost.

What is OEE?

Measuring OEE is closely linked to improvements in performance, availability, and quality – because these are the elements by which it is measured.

OEE benchmarks: Where do industries stand today?

It’s risky to make generalizations about OEE, in part because every industry has completely different standards. Process and discrete manufacturing, for example, have drastically different production times and processes; a food and beverage manufacturer shouldn’t base OEE expectations on a benchmark made for an automotive parts manufacturer.

Another factor that complicates benchmarking OEE is that measuring OEE is not standard practice yet across all industries.

Compare these two industries, for example:

OEE: Expectations vs Reality

Another interesting point is the gap between a manufacturer’s target OEE, and their current OEE (as reported).

Take a look at the food manufacturing industry.

For these manufacturers, the average target OEE was 74%. The average current OEE – only 68%.

In order to understand these OEE benchmarks, it’s important to look at the 3 variables that affect OEE for manufacturers: Availability, performance, and quality.

Where are the losses coming from?

The Next Step

Measuring OEE is only the first step. Every business problem must be addressed individually.

So, if you want to improve overall productivity, start by targeting one or more of these big losses – for example, downtime:

Decreasing downtime is one way to increase OEE. But improving productivity and increasing OEE is only the first step in a journey to optimal manufacturing processes today.

To continually optimize results and reach the ideal 85%, be prepared to progress from monitoring and measuring OEE, to deploying predictive – and later, prescriptive – manufacturing solutions. 

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