OEE is increasingly influential

Is Overall Equipment Efficiency (OEE) growing in importance as a key determinant when it comes to specifying packaging equipment?

That seems to be the case at Denmark’s Arla Foods dairy co-op, a global supplier of milk-based products with an especially strong presence in Denmark, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

Arla is on a quest to tightly integrate all manufacturing activities, from the shop floor to the top floor. Visibility of manufacturing information across the entire enterprise is a prerequisite to the integrated state that Arla is seeking. So naturally, OEE—the cumulative impact of a machine’s availability, performance rate, and quality rate—is an important metric. In fact, it’s so important that production IT manager Arne Svendsen wants OEE to become a part of packaging machinery purchasing negotiations.

“Like any manufacturer, we’ve always tracked machine performance, but it hasn’t been done in a coordinated fashion,” says Svendsen. “That puts us in a reactive mode when we’d rather be more proactive about it. What we want is automated data collection done according to corporate standards. That way, every packaging machinery OEM will understand that we want a data plot on top of their machine control so that we can pull the OEE data we need. Instead of analyzing key machine performance indicators like availability, rate, and quality after a packaging machine has been running in our plant for awhile, we want to talk about them up front when we’re talking about buying the machine in the first place.”

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