Reliability Hacks for the Individual

Reliability can be thought of as the resistance to failure. Or, put another way, reliability is the probability of success. We usually talk about ways to make equipment more reliable. But let’s explore some tips (hacks if you will) to make you and your work resistant to failure. To increase your probability of success. These are things that you can do mostly by yourself, but that will have a ripple effect beyond just your work. Whether the current situation has you at max capacity, or with a little extra time on your hands, the time you take to ensure your personal and professional reliability will pay off quickly, and keep paying.

First things first: Organize your ToDo list. Make sure that your ToDo list is actually a doable list and organized to help you get it done. Break tasks into milestones that can be knocked out. If the same task stays on your list for longer than a week, think about if it is realistic.

  • Should it be broken into smaller, more complete-able tasks?
  • Should it be moved into the future, to a time when you can effectively tackle it?
  • Is it a repetitive task that should be moved to calendar based reminders, rather than a perpetual ToDo?
  • Does it belong on a ‘bucket list” rather than a ToDo list?
  • What will it take to complete the task?
    • What will it take to complete the task?
    • What will it take to complete the task?
    • See what I did there? If asking 3 times doesn’t work, you may need to 5-Why your tasks. If you don’t know how to complete it, the task does not belong on the ToDo list. You first need a task to define your objective, brainstorm actions to accomplish, create a plan of action, then break that plan into action steps. That is a series of entries on a ToDo list, not just one.

Organizing your ToDo list as the precursor to your Accomplished list will focus your efforts more effectively. Every task on your list should pass the SMART test. It should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Results oriented and Timebound. That is not to say that you should not have more esoteric, philosophic, or pursuit goals. But those belong on your life list, not your ToDo list. A focused ToDo list will help you accomplish your goals and lead to personal and organizational reliability.

Streamline metrics. By streamline metrics, I mean organize the data, goals, and metrics that you use to make decisions so that they provide the information you need to make decisions in a timely and organized manner. If your data comes from database(s), create an automated report that is delivered to you, automagically. If the database that you are working on, can’t do that, research add-ons to see if they can. If nothing else, set a calendar reminder to run the report. If the data does not come to you in a meaningful format set up a simple framework to dump the data into. The framework doesn’t need to be any more sophisticated than a spreadsheet. Your metrics should look at both absolute values and trends. Common metrics answer these questions:

  • Where is the reading currently?
    • What has changed since the last reading?
    • Where is the reading to goal?
  • What is the trend line of the reading?
  • Is the goal still valid?
  • Do I need to change the frequency of review?
  • Do we need to look at other goals in conjunction with this one?

From that information, a course of action can usually be plotted. From abandon the goal; to do nothing/continue monitoring; to stop the presses and let’s get all hands on deck! – Sorry for the mixed metaphors. Making your metrics review a consistent, repeatable process makes your decision making more reliability. The faster you can turn data into information, the more likely you are to continue to monitor.

Thank someone. How does thanking someone lead to reliability? When you thank someone for the help in your career, or life. You think about how that person changed your life. Reflection is the best way to achieve personal reliability. Thank someone and honor that thanks by upholding the work ethics that person has taught to you.

Smile. Think of your loved ones past, present and future. Think of kittens, flowers, and rainbows. Think of equipment running flawlessly, think of your outage going exactly as planned, think of all your lines running at designated rate, turning out perfect quality. Smile. Think of what makes you smile, and why it makes you happy. Capture that feeling. Being happy, centered, calm, leads you to make more balanced decisions, and to be more open and accepting. Take the time everyday to smile and enjoy feeling good. Then take that smile and pass it on. Give it to someone without the need for them to give it back. Just be happy and professional and you will find it easier to work with all types of people. You will be more reliable, and you might even inspire reliability in them.

Give back. We are each the person we are because of those that have inspired or guided us along the way. Give back to your community, including your professional community. Talk to classrooms about your job, get young folks interested in following in your career. Target those that are not traditional in your field. Make them feel like they belong and could make a big difference in the career. Reach out to training centers to see how you can help spread the word to gain interest in the field. Get active in a professional group. Write an article and share what you know. Teach the next generation, either formally or informally. Inspire someone to take up your field of work and watch how they grow an contribute. Mentor a protégé. Nothing is more fulfilling than watching a former protégé, mentor a newcomer to the field. Giving back makes you a reliable proponent of your field.

Learn something new. Minds are sort of like muscles in that they need to be exercised to keep them healthy. Mix learning something just for fun with learning to advance your professional understanding. Ideally, these are one and the same, but you know the story about Jack and no play. Learning a craft, music, balloon animals, or other skills are just as important to your curiosity as reading the latest trade journals and peer publications.

Create a job continuity book. Someday you will win the lottery, be promoted, move to a new town, or otherwise leave your current job. Creating a job book for your standardized work helps you become more reliable and will help with on boarding of the next you. Review the book annually to update it. This will only make you a more valuable employee. There is a myth that “if they know what I do they will get rid of me”. Do you really think your boss is after your job? More likely they will be impressed, not only with all that you do, but with your initiative to document the standard work, stream line the metrics, be pleasant to those around you, give back to the community, and still get a formidable ToDo list done.

Take the time to organize and make yourself more reliable. The less time you have to spend doing the routine, necessary work, the more time you have for the important, innovative work.

ISO 55000 is Good for Business

ISO 55000-55002 is called the asset management package.  It is a roadmap for how to set and maintain an equipment reliability program.  When equipment is reliable, production is more stable and costs can be managed more accurately.  Therefore, the 55000 standard is good for business.  A reliable operation provides the stability for innovation or for profit taking.  It provides business with the option to execute their strategy.  People are in charge.  In an unreliable operation, the equipment is in charge, because all the people are reacting to the availability (or lack thereof) of the equipment.

First, what is ISO.  It is the organization for international standards for products and services.  Many people think of the one or two standards they are familiar with, but as of today:

ISO has published 22,195 International Standards and related documents, covering almost every industry, from technology, to food safety, to agriculture and healthcare. ISO International Standards impact everyone, everywhere.

In other words, ISO is big and broad reaching.  And who doesn’t love a story that anecdotally begins with a horse butt?  The story, which is at least partially true, goes that the width of modern railroads are standardized on the old Roman roads.  Since the Romans’ main mode of long distance transport was horse, the road tracks are spaced at about the width of two horses.  Therefore, one of the first standards was based upon horse width, or as the driver sees, the horses’ behinds.Horse ButtThe Asset Management package, ISO 55000 series, was published in 2014.  It arrived without much fanfare, and even today, I can tell how hardcore into reliability someone is, by their familiarity with the standard.  That should not be the case, every maintenance and reliability manager should be familiar with the package, and own at least some version of it.

The most common phrases I hear about why an organization does not have a working reliability program are

  1. We don’t know where to start.
    • The organization is in such a reactive mode that they don’t know how to prioritize forward thinking reliability work – the equipment is in charge.
    • Those charged with reliability leadership don’t have the skills to create a reliability roadmap.  They have no formal training, and their OJT training has been focused on fixing and maintaining, rather than reliability strategy.
  2. We can’t get management support for a program.
    • Those charged with reliability leadership do not understand how to ‘sell’ reliability.  They don’t have the background to put together an ROI for the reliability roadmap.
    • Management thinks maintenance, not reliability, and does not view it as a competitive advantage.
    • Organizational mind set needs to be :
      • Reliability is not a cost to be cut.
      • Reliability is a continuous improvement program to invest in.

The ISO 55000 series addresses the roadmap and can be used as leverage to help convince management of the necessity for reliability.  The standard does not address ROI or funding questions.  Engage experts to nail down the financial rewards of a reliability program.

The standards are

  • ISO 55000:2014 Asset management — Overview, principles and terminology
  • ISO 55001:2014 Asset management — Management systems — Requirements
  • ISO 55002:2014 Asset management — Management systems — Guidelines for the application of ISO 55001

They layout a roadmap for reliability.  They are well organized and written in pretty easy to understand language.   They even include handy diagrams and relationship charts.  The standard starts with asset management.  What are your assets, then how do you put together a program to manage their health and life cycle.  It includes self assessing and a process for sustainability in the reliability program.

Start small to get “wins”, but use the package to build both your overall strategy, as well as your tactical execution program.  Now you know where and how to start.  Problem 1 – Solved.

The package can be used in conjunction with the financial estimates to gain management support.  By showing that you are following a standard, and that your ideas are well rooted in solid business practices all over the world, you can convince the conservative leader.  Show them that you are not trying something new, but catching up to your competitors.  For the leaders that like to push the envelop, show them how the standard is a jumping off point.  You are one of the first in your industry to adopt and conquer this standard.  After all, have they heard ISO 55000 talk around the c-suite water cooler?  Convince them they are an innovator by backing this program.  Problem 2 – Solved.

Some who were involved in the ISO9000 quality series implementation of the 1990s may see following ISO standards as a huge money drain with little results.  If that is true, they embraced the idea of being certified, but not the ideals of the actual standard.  It is true that the certification companies were/are expensive, and that you could have a quality program, but not a quality product.  But you had to work pretty hard at cheating the system to not wind up with a good quality system.  The problem often came that overly complicated internal systems were developed rather than tweaking current processes to met the standard.   The standard set up a good system of checks and balances, as well as the roadmap for success.  The 55000 standards set up that same type of system, and expressly encourages internal validation.

Setting up a quality system, a reliability system, or any other business process to comply to ISO standards, should not mean creating new processes from scratch.  Rather they should build on your current processes and strengths to meet the standard.  You know how to run your business, use the standard to ensure that processes are actually process based, not people based.  They ensure standardization.

A properly executed and maintained ISO5000 series compliant reliability program does yield a reliability operation at the optimum cost.  Depending on the current maturity of the organization’s reliability program and the available resources, it may take a year or it may take 10 years to see these rewards.  However, since the asset management program is good for business, and its bottom line, I highly recommend spending the resources to become compliant in the 1-2 year range, rather than stretch it out over several years.  The more involved the organization’s commitment to reliability, the faster and deeper the rewards.

It is not easy to transform a business, and there are investment costs to doing so.  The ISO standards will not help you with the dedication and perseverance you need to implement reliability.  But they do provide a high level roadmap, and the assurance that you are working with a standard.  Following that standard properly will result in a reliable operation.

ISO 55000 series asset management standards are good for business.


Latent Root Cause

A good root cause analysis (RCA) should produce more than just the physical root cause.  It is important to discover the physical root cause to fix the immediate problem.  But delving deeper into the systemic, then all the way to the latent cause helps transform your business for the better.

The latent root cause involves practices and cultural norms that allow failures to happen.  I’ll say that again, the latent root cause is the practice that allowed the failure to happen.  Solving the latent root cause, means solving a management problem.

It’s easy to know when you have reached the latent cause, because the terminology has changed from ‘they’ to ‘we’.  It is no longer someone else who has to act, but we, as management, that have to act.

Let me take you through an RCA that I was involved in as a plant manager.  Note: after they are solved, RCA’s can be explained simply.  But the process is grueling, takes many iterations and can be extremely frustrating.  It is easy to get distracted and end an RCA after the physical root cause.  But if the problem was important enough to warrant an RCA (not just troubleshooting), then it is worth it to the organization to finish the RCA and find the systemic and latent causes.

Problem Statement:  Food Product did not meet consistency expectations, but did not present a food safety hazard.

Occurrence:  Product left plant at expectation, and arrived at most sites as expected, however product shipped over the Rocky Mountains lost consistency.

After much research into what made the product the right consistency, and a thorough inspection of the production equipment, it was found that the colloid mill was not shearing the product finely enough to produce the sustained viscosity needed.  When the product was shipped over high altitude it became runny.  Other product became runny before code date, but the high altitude shipment actually helped by alerting us to the problem within days of the production run.

Production Process :  The colloid mill blade spacing was set by adjusting the dial on the outside.  There was an SOP that indicated where to set the dial.

Physical Root Cause:  The mill was dismantled and the thickness of the blade was measured.  It was still a useable blade, but the dial setting should have been adjusted for blade wear.

Systemic Root Cause:  SOPs were created and did not take into account equipment wear.

Latent Root Cause:  No one thought about how equipment wear would effect product quality.  There was no program to adjust SOPs over time to account for blade wear.  But requiring production to follow the SOP, management did not have a provision to adjust requirements as needed over time.  The blade was known to wear, but the spacing adjustment did not account for that wear in the SOP.  Management allowed for using a worn (but still within spec) blade, but did not provide instructions on how to use that thinner blade.

The result of determining the latent root cause was a plant wide review of all equipment that could wear.  There was already a program to periodically measure the mill blades to ensure they maintained safe thickness.  So, a process was added to the inspection to record the blade thickness and adjust SOPs accordingly.

Other equipment was reviewed, to determine if changes needed to be made.  Positive displacement lobe pumps are a common wear item in food plants.  Using pressure and flow settings compensate for lobe wear.  Agitators and mixers were also reviewed to set standards.  A clearance inspection program was set up for them.

By driving to the latent root, we were able to apply the physical root cause (wear) to equipment beyond the colloid mill.  This should prevent future quality issues and lead to better care and understanding of the equipment and its importance in the manufacturing process.

Finding the latent root cause prompts management to act and change the processes.  It can be more expensive and involve more areas of the business than this problem.  It is not uncommon to see capital expenditures or changes in operating philosophy.

The more RCAs that your organization drives to latent root cause, the less RCAs overall will be needed.  This is because solving these management issues, has a broader impact than solving only the physical issues.

You will be operating more proactively, and less reactively.  I encourage you to use an experienced coach to learn the process of driving to the multiple root causes.  But once you understand the process, you and your organization will continue to drive toward solving the latent issues.  You will not be satisfied to stop at the physical root cause.



Choosing the right tool for your analysis. RCM or FMEA

Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM) reviews and Failure Modes and Effects Analyses (FMEA)s have a lot in common, but there are still some key differences.  Rather than go into the mechanics of each, let’s look at the philosophy to help you choose the appropriate tool for your organization.

RCM as events are often overshadowed as folks have started using the term RCM to mean a proactive operating philosophy; what I call manufacturing excellence.  This is not a review of that philosophy.  Here I am talking about the John Moubray pioneered RCM analysis and its legitimate offshoots. (SAE JA1011_199908)

RCM is a member of the zero culture.  No failures are acceptable.  The RCM will identify all the potential failure points and these will be engineered away.  This may take the place of re-engineering equipment or processes, or engineering a proactive inspection to reduce the risk of an unplanned interruption (failure) to zero.  RCM will rank failures in a high-medium-low fashion, but the ultimate goal is to remove all potential failures, no matter the ranking.  RCM is to the maintenance organization what zero defects is to the quality organization.

Just as true believers of the zero quality defects philosophy removed quality inspectors, a true RCM organization would place less emphasis on mechanics rushing to breakdowns.  There would be no unplanned maintenance.  An RCM organization would take the opportunity of a breakdown to review their engineering efforts and determine how to never have this happen again.  Driving unplanned maintenance to zero would be the vision of the whole organization and resources would be applied appropriately.  This requires much upfront engineering and precise execution of planned maintenance.

FMEA culture does accept some failures.  Run to failure is an option in an FMEA philosophy, but that decision is made in advance, and with eyes wide open.  A key feature of the FMEA is the risk priority number (RPN).  The lowest acceptable RPN is determined and this is called the RPN threshold.  The RPN threshold is the point at which the organization has said, the cost of reducing that failure is more than the cost of the failure itself, therefore it will not be engineered out.  Determining the failures and their mitigating activities is similar in both the RCM and the FMEA.  However the FMEA assigns a number to the failure modes’ severity, occurrence, and detection to determine the risk priority number.  The organization then chooses an RPN threshold and only assigns resources to engineering out failures whose RPNs are above that threshold.  Therefore the organization accepts that failures with RPNs below the threshold will still occur.  They have accepted a breakdown culture, to a certain degree.  This organization will rely on a combination of engineering and maintenance to perform.  The FMEA organization will have fewer engineering resources and more maintenance and troubleshooting resources than the RCM organization.

Both the RCM organization with its zero tolerance and the FMEA organization with its limited acceptance of breakdowns are legitimate operating philosophies.  Both have many successful examples.  Airlines and power producers are examples of industries that follow the zero philosophies.  Failures in these industries cost the providers huge economic penalties, so the cost of the RCM implementation is easily saved in cost avoidance.  There is also a risk of loss of life with either of these failures and, actuary tables aside, these cannot be measured in pure economic terms.

Many factories and producers adopt the FMEA philosophy of accepting risk.  However, problems arise when management provides resources to act in an FMEA environment and expects RCM zero results.  Management will keep the responsibility for the budget and approving projects to themselves, but assign the accountability for zero breakdowns to the maintenance or maintenance and engineering departments.  This mis-match in accountability and responsibility is what causes some organizations to spiral out of control and become a reactive culture.   Reactive culture is not a sustainable operating philosophy.  Just to be clear, reactive maintenance culture is not a sustainable operating philosophy.  It is not sustainable to operate your organization with a reactive maintenance philosophy.

So when choosing between FMEA and RCM, understand what the organization’s accountability and responsibility structure are for allocating and implementing engineering and maintenance resources.  It is often advisable to lean toward the RCM zero philosophy.  That way the projects to engineer out the failures are in proposal form, just waiting for the funding to be approved.  Let’s look at how a failure might be handled in each organizational philosophy:

FMEA – a failure occurs with a low RPN.  The organization demands an after action review of the failure.

The maintenance manager reviews the original FMEA, confirms the RPN number is still valid and reports to the rest of the site leadership team that this failure was one that “we” determined the organization could weather.  Added to that report are the cost of the failure, and an estimate of what it might cost to mitigate that failure.  This confirms that run to failure was the most economical plan.

All is good until someone on the leadership team states “they” were not a part of the “we” and will not accept any failure at any time; mis-match in philosophies.  Now the organization has to re-determine which philosophy they hold or should the RPN threshold be lower.  This could trigger a review of all the FMEAs against a lower RPN, or a removal of all RPNs to embrace a zero culture.


The maintenance manager reviews the original FMEA, determines the RPN has changed and it is, in fact, above the threshold now.   This triggers a project for this specific instance.  It also triggers a review of all FMEAs to recalculate the RPN for the current operating conditions.  This also sets up the need to have a trigger to review RPNs as operating conditions change.

RCM – a failure occurs. The organization demands an after action review of the failure.

The maintenance manager reviews the files, finds the failure and the project associated with its mitigation.  The project is presented to the leadership team with an updated ROI given the recent failure.  The leadership team decides project resources and timing.  This may include that the ROI on the project is not still not viable and the project goes back to waiting status.

Both RCM and FMEA philosophy are acceptable ways to run an organization.  However, if the leadership team is constantly changing faces (individuals), or the operating conditions are constantly changing, it can be advantageous to run with the zero failure philosophy of RCM.   Operating under the FMEA philosophy may make more sense in the reality of limited funds, but it takes much more finesse and an understanding of risk analysis to promote and sustain.

Choose your methodology wisely and be able to explain the philosophy to both your peers and your team.  Confidence and support for the methodology is much more important than the specific acronym you apply.  Please do choose a proactive approach, because reactive maintenance is not sustainable.  It costs way too much in lost production, equipment wear, and morale of the humans who have to operate in that environment.

Please share your stories of successful RCM or FMEA implementation.

Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE)

OEE definition and formula.

Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) is a measure of how well equipment is able to be utilized.

Why use OEE

  • OEE is used because it is a standardized method of measuring productivity from an equipment standpoint
  • It is an unbiased method
  • By understanding the losses experienced by the equipment we can fix them

How to calculate OEE

OEE = Availability * Performance Rate * Quality Rate

  • Availability = Time available to produce, this is reduced by planned maintenance, change overs, breakdowns, sanitation, and cleaning
  • Performance Rate = The designated speed or rate of production
  • Quality Rate = Good parts produced, or value delivered, this is reduced by defects, holds, scrap, unaccepted work

Data – where to find it; how to use it

  • Availability
    • Usually a manual calculation
    • Most often calculated for full calendar time (24×7; 5×7 – usually operational staffed time) then the unused time (usually market down time) is subtracted from total expected time.
  • Performance Rate
    • Usually calculated from run time information captured on equipment
    • It can be manually calculated but is not practical to manage using manual calcs on large scale operations
    • Theoretical performance rate must be determined and used to calculate the rate
  • Quality Rate
    • Can be calculated on the line if reject system is operational
    • Final calculations may come shifts, days, or even weeks later.  This depends on the quality system and when product is dispositioned from ‘hold’

Common problems to avoid when leveraging OEE for improvement

  1. Not counting all time on the equipment as Available time.
    • Availability can be thought of as an indication of capacity.  If planned downtime (such as that for maintenance, changeover, or sanitation) are removed from the availability calculation, then the load requirements of the equipment cannot be determined.  Therefore changes in production schedule cannot be accurately planned.
    • If 4 hours of planned maintenance is required on equipment each week, that accounts for approximately 3% of Availability.
    • Activities to reduce planned downtime are cannot be value-added if these times are not included in OEE.
      • This is an example of silo thinking.  Engineers working on reducing downtime, either by SMED activities, or instituting more condition monitoring cannot accurately account for the ROI of such activities.
      • In truth, the company will see benefits, but the battle over how the savings are accounted, and who gets to claim the reductions will overshadow the real tangible benefits.  Some will claim the engineers calculations are funny-money; operations will see a real jump in OEE, but not be able to account for the jump.
    • The purpose of OEE is to find losses, and determine if they are worth eliminating.
  2. Using OEE as a measure of people, not equipment.
    • Since equipment is in the very name of the measure, this seems obvious.  But most organizations use the OEE measure to operations, shifts, and sometimes even individuals
    • Management needs to manage.  OEE is best used as a metric to determine where to troubleshoot, but it is never a measure of people’s performance.
    • The purpose of OEE is to find losses, and determine if they are worth eliminating.
  3. Setting a specific number as an OEE goal
    • We love goals, and we love numbers.  Even “Dancing with the Stars” publishes metrics.  However, even the goal there is not to get a perfect score, but to get a better score than last week. – Oh yeah, and a better score than the competitors.
    • I’m often asked what is should a line’s OEE be.  I have spouted “80-85”, but that’s just an arbitrary number.  Who cares what the number is? 80-85% of statistics are made up on the spot (see what I did there?).
    • The purpose of OEE is to find losses, and determine if they are worth eliminating.  That’s it.  Find losses and make a determination if they are worth eliminating.  This means finding a fix for the loss and running an ROI to see if the fix is worth eliminating
  4. Taking action too early or too late to correct
    • The purpose of OEE is to find losses, and determine if they are worth eliminating.
    • Ensure that thorough troubleshooting and root cause analysis are taken on the loss investigation.  Otherwise, you will be solving symptoms, not problems.  This can happen if you react to the data too quickly.  Usually a full week to a month of data are needed to see a good pareto of the losses.
    • Waiting too long to act on the data gives the impression that it is not important.  It takes a lot of conscientious effort by operators to correctly capture and code losses.  If they do not perceive value in their efforts, the downtime coding will become generic.
  5. Not communicating with operators, maintenance, and others how the organization is using OEE and how they are a part of it.
    • Lack of communication will lead to finger pointing and suspicion.  The age old silos of maintenance and operations will use the OEE numbers to blame each other for the recorded losses.
    • Understanding losses is a positive thing.  Do not focus on the OEE number,  instead focus on the losses and how to eliminate them.  You can inspire enthusiasm and spur creative thinking in all team members when root blame is not the focus.

Example Time!pexels-photo-125514.jpeg

OEE Using a Car as an Example

Availability = Time the car is available to drive where you want

  • Reduced by Planned Downtime
    • Time to fuel up
    • Preventive maintenance** (oil changes, tire rotation, tune up, washing, …)
  • Unplanned Downtime
    • Time in shop for maintenance / repairs
    • Accidents
    • Breakdowns
  • Not reduced by
    • Time spent parked

      **Remember spending time on preventive maintenance reduces breakdowns and unplanned downtime

Performance Rate= Time spent with car at speed limit (or expected speed)

Reduced by

  • Idling car
  • Traffic problems / jams
  • Weather related bad road conditions
  • Debris, junk on the road
  • Slowing down in an unfamiliar situation

    Speeding has negative potential consequences, so it is discouraged
  • Tickets
  • Crashes from mis-matched speeds on roads
  • Equipment malfunctions (blown tires)

    Performance rate problems translate into Availability issues

    • Accidents
    • Low fuel economy causing increased fuel stops
    • Breakdowns

Quality Rate: The car performs as expected

Reduced by

  • Low fuel economy
  • Poor emissions
  • Appearance (dirty, paint chipped, rusted,…)  These can become maintenance issues, or interfere with transportation reputation
  • Inability to transport/haul/tow everything you want

So, let’s calculate the OEE for a typical week on a car.

The car is used to go to and from work 5 days per week.  Work is 25 miles from home.  It takes 1 hour to get to work and 1:06 to get home (1.1 hours).

The kids school is 1.5 miles away and the car was driven there 3 times during the week; total of 9 miles.  It took 1 hour for each round trip.

One day during the week there was a stop for fuel and a car wash.  This took 45 minutes.

Standard Performance Rate is 30 miles per hour.   (I declared that.)

There were no quality defects, as all activities performed as expected.

Availability = 100- (Total time car was occupied; 15.25 hrs)/(Maintenance time ; fuel and car wash; .75 hours)*100

Availability = 95%

Performance Rate = 100-(Total Miles/Total Hours Performing) / Standard Performance Rate)*100

Performance Rate = 100- (269/14.5)/30)*100 = 38%

Quality Rate = 100%

OEE =  95%*38%*100% = 36 %

Is 36% OEE good or bad?  The answer is NO – it is neither good or bad.

Areas of losses – potential reductions

  • Maintenance; fuel and car wash – find a faster car wash
  • Waiting for children – determine that OEE is more important and make the kids wait for the car, not the car wait for the kid.  Disclaimer: This is cruel and not to be taken seriously. The point is, this loss is not worth reducing.
  • Perform detailed analysis to improve the Standard Performance rate; make it a variable based on the type of trip.  This is similar to have a performance rate specific to a product.

The car did everything needed, the maintenance was able to be fit into the schedule. The car is not at capacity, therefore it is not value-added to improve the OEE.   So, even though the OEE was 36%, it is acceptable, because the losses were evaluated and the equipment (car) was operating within expectations.  A 36% OEE on a city bus, would likely not be acceptable.  So acceptable is relative to use/application factors.  Use OEE to find losses and determine if they are worth eliminating or reducing.  OEE is a tool, not an end product.