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OEE Availability: How Connected Worker Platforms Improve Availability

Machine breakdowns are the single greatest source of Overall Equipment Effective loss, making up 24% of all losses.  Changeover time related losses add up to another 6.2%.  Availability loss accounts for over 30% of all OEE losses.  This means that optimizing machine availability is critically important for increasing your OEE score. So what’s OEE Availability? 

Also referred to as uptime,  OEE Availability is an important metric used by manufacturing enterprises to measure productivity. It is used to measure the time percentage when equipment is available to be used for production. High availability or uptime can in turn, lead to improved production capacity and optimum use of available resources.  

Availability is an integral part of a larger metric in manufacturing, namely OEE.  OEE provides a quantifiable measure to determine the “health” of manufacturing equipment and allows manufacturers to order data-driven optimization in machine condition monitoring and service tasks to increase productivity.     

In this article we will look at the OEE Availability metric – and how a  low code/no code Connected Worker platform can help improve it. 

What is OEE and why is it important in Manufacturing?

As a production metric, OEE is typically used by manufacturing companies to measure and improve operational efficiency. Besides availability, OEE is also determined by two additional factors: Quality and Performance. 

For accurate results, availability is measured in terms of availability loss – or the loss of any planned production for an extended time. Typically, availability is measured as the ratio of the production runtime to the planned production time. 100% availability would mean that the planned production processes were run with zero stop time. 

Availability loss happens as a result of the following two types of events:

  • Unplanned stops that occur because of equipment failure or shortage of production material
  • Planned stops occur when equipment is ready for production but is not operational due to a variety of planned events including machine changeover, or setups.

How Connected Workforce Platforms improve OEE availability

Here are some ways in which a technology-based Front Line Worker platform can improve OEE Availability:

1. Digitization of paper-based processes

By digitizing manual or paper-based processes, a Connected Worker platform can free up manufacturing personnel from redundant paperwork, thus allowing them to focus on high-end operational tasks like machine maintenance. This, in turn, improves availability of equipment.

2. Visual work instructions

Thanks to digital workflows, front line operators (including new hires) can now perform their job more quickly and effectively (without depending on supervision). This reduces production downtime, thus improving availability.

3. Planned maintenance

With maintenance checklists and smart workflows, a Connected Workforce platform can improve the quality of planned maintenance (or stops). Maintenance tasks can now be optimized to reduce changeover time, thus ensuring that manufacturing equipment is back in operation in less time.

4. Self-assist instructions

Through the availability of visual self-assist instructions, workforce training can be optimized, thus allowing faster resolution of manufacturing-related problems or issues. The increased speed of training also increases the availability of workers to work on the production line. 

5. Front Line visibility

A Connected Worker platform improves operational visibility into manufacturing operations, thus enabling faster detection of any operational inefficiencies or deviations. This allows management to order preventive maintenance before equipment failure happens.

6. Remote assistance for frontline operators

Using AR technology, frontline maintenance operators can be assisted with real-time visual instructions when performing their job. This means experts can be brought through the worker’s devices (mobile phone, tablets, laptops and smart glasses) to speed up problem resolution time and get machines up and running again.  

With its AR Powered Connected Front Line Worker Productivity Platform, Atheer has enabled its manufacturing customers to improve OEE by ensuring maximum availability for its production equipment. The low code/no code Atheer platform can reduce availability losses arising due to unplanned downtime or non-optimization of planned downtime. 

Want to learn more about how Atheer can improve availability in manufacturing? Click this link now.

See Atheer In Action

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