New guide helps to ‘demystify’ OEE process

A new technical guide from Interactive Coding Equipment (ICE) helps explain the importance and benefits of Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE).

The coding and marking specialist said OEE has become something of a ‘buzz’ phrase as manufacturers seek to maximise efficiencies and throughput. However, with production line operators under increasing pressure to deliver improvements, ICE said there is a danger that the introduction of additional systems or measurement tools can be viewed with a “degree of suspicion” and even considered an obstruction to daily tasks.

ICE’s guide – titled Understanding OEE and its Relevance throughout the Production Line – sets out to highlight the importance of explaining the benefits OEE can bring to individuals in every part of the operation including increased throughput for production managers, greater profitability for the finance team and improved working practices for factory personnel.

The free guide explains the theory behind OEE and how to measure it through the criteria of availability, performance and quality. It also provides guidance on ways to improve OEE by identifying reasons behind the six ‘big losses’ that cause inefficiency in manufacturing: breakdowns, set-up and adjustments, small stops, reduced speed, start-up rejects and production rejects.

The guide looks at how ‘must-have’ equipment, such as coders and labellers, can still make a significant contribution in these areas. For example, ICE said that extended service intervals, fast consumable changes and intuitive code creation for reduced errors all help to improve the availability of equipment. Performance of coders has benefited from features that have increased speeds and improved reliability. A new generation of coders can also monitor and report on the quality of each code as it is produced, meaning any potential loss of quality can be identified and rectified before production is affected.

Chris Simpson, managing technical director at ICE said, “OEE can be an invaluable aid to enhancing a company’s efficiency, productivity and profitability. However, to be most effective, it is vital that its benefits are fully understood by everyone in an organisation. We hope our guide will go some way to demystifying the process and demonstrate how it can be easily adopted.”

This guide is available to download at