Innovation, technology and process improvement are on a continuum that never ends. As Key Technology continues to innovate and you invest in new technology to help improve your processes, it is important to remember past lessons learned that are timeless. For example, here is a clip from a video on installing and maintaining vibratory conveyors that we produced in the late 1980s. These tips still hold true and can help you prevent downtime. This month, we are looking back to find more advice to help you optimize plant processes as you continue your quest for improvement.
Improving Equipment Performance
The ultimate and everlasting goal for all processors is to produce high product quality at maximum yield, which can only be achieved when your equipment is operating efficiently. But how do you know if it is? To find out, look at this valuable advice from 4 years ago:
Five Questions for Evaluating Equipment Performance:
- What is the performance level you want to achieve?
- What indications will there be to let you know if you are achieving the desired performance level?
- What data do you need to develop the indicators of performance?
- What has kept you from putting the processes in place and collecting the data needed to achieve higher performance levels?
- What internal and external support do you need to achieve higher performance?
To help you answer these questions, here’s an excerpt from the February 2016 edition of the Service Advisor where we discussed Asset Optimization and the different measurements you may use when analyzing overall equipment effectiveness.
There are many ways to measure asset optimization. Here is one simple method:
- Start by calculating Total Uptime or Asset Availability as a percentage for a shift or production run.
- Then calculate Asset Utilization or Performance as Total Product/Operating time/Ideal Run Rate.
- Next, multiply % Asset Availability by % Asset Utilization to get the Asset’s Operating Performance.
- Finally, add Quality in the equation and you will end up with the measurement for Overall (operational) Equipment Effectiveness (Availability X Performance X Quality= Overall Equipment Effectiveness).
Understanding these measurements is important to help you focus operational and maintenance activities. What set of measurements you focus on will depend on your area of responsibility. If you are responsible for the maintenance of the equipment, you are undoubtedly focused on uptime. If you are responsible for the operation of the production line for a specific shift, you probably measure asset performance. And, if your responsibility includes the final product, then quality may be the most important measurement to you. OEE can be used to compare shifts or production runs, which can be valuable if you have plant production responsibilities.
Last but not least, the oldest and perhaps most important piece of advice: if you need help, ask! Our Service Team can be reached through our 24-hour Call Center. Contact them today for information on your installed equipment, detailed spare part quotations, or to schedule a service visit.