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2.1 Intro

Working as a sr. Lean consultant I noticed two things over and over again:

  1. Operators, line managers and management all either want to compare equipment, or are afraid that this will be done.
  2. Setting up the definitions for gathering OEE data brings up the same discussions over and over again. Larger companies all seem to struggle -most political- fights about how OEE is defined, one wants to include PM, the other takes it out, and the third takes it out under conditions... thus giving fear on the shop floor that 'unfair comparisons' are done.
  • Ad 1. Although I feel OEE is a shop floor tool, not meant to benchmark, it is certainly possible to use certain elements as useful reference information considering it is done in the right way.
  • Ad 2. For every problem there is only one optimal solution. So why discover the wheel again...

So I started to wonder if it would be possible to define a kind of an 'Industry Standard OEE definition', that would make sure that at least within the same company everybody uses OEE in the same way. i.e. if we are talking about 'Availability' at least it should be clear that everybody in- or excludes the same issues (i.e. breaks, PM, etc).

The history of the OEE Industry standard

What I did was this:

  • I took ALL OEE registrations I had ever seen (quite some...) and figured out where the common denominators were.
  • I grouped all possible OEE elements in a logical way.
  • I tried to give all 'negotiable' elements a clear definition.
  • I validated every group as 'Production', 'Failure', 'Idle' or 'Unscheduled'.

At first I thought this would become a huge document since the equipment I looked at was varying from refineries to cement- and paper mills to beer breweries, food processors, drilling, stamping, welding, plating.... well you name it and is was there. Guess what… I figured out the whole lot of it fits on a couple of A4!

Then I took this concept to some experienced OEE implementers and discussed every element. Every time we had a discussion, I gave all arguments I had heard and tried to find the Best Of Best argument, considering it had to be applicable on ANY other situation! In fact this process is still going on, but the picture becomes quite clear.

It is my objective to have an OEE standard definition available where every choice is companioned with very reasonable and strong argumentation, that (if I did my job well) can not be refuted within the spirit of TPM and Lean Manufacturing.

Now, in 2003 many parties have joined us on this adventure and tried hard to ‘doubt’ every element of the standard; yet the arguments given by the first group of forum-members stand firm. However we have gathered some additions and clarifications which are added to this version of the OEE Industry Standard.

I now want to invite every OEE using company to join us in this standard:

  1. to check if the definition can stand up to new discussions;
  2. to get broader support within the industry, so we get more unity in OEE definitions.

If you would like to contribute to the discussion please let us know by sending an email to: info@oeetoolkit.com.

Arno Koch