Posted by: productivityinc | October 2, 2014

OEE – Learn How to Use It Right

blog photo 10-2Recently, our own Ellis New had an article on Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) published in Industry Week’s on-line newsletter. The article looks at the use and misuse of this often misunderstood metric. Below is an excerpt from that article, to read the entire piece, click on the word MORE below.

Overall Equipment Effectiveness is the measure most closely associated with Total Productive Maintenance (TPM), but OEE is not equivalent to TPM. At its heart, TPM is not about complex metrics; it’s about developing the capabilities of people. Everyone is involved in pursuing the dual goals of zero breakdowns and zero defects. Production, maintenance, and engineering form an efficient partnership, and operators share “ownership” in equipment. The new attitudes and behaviors result in a cultural shift that improves morale, drives continuous improvement, targets total asset reliability, and supports lean initiatives.

Total Productive Maintenance is fundamental to achieving lean flow, because flow can’t happen without reliable equipment and processes. In turn, a good understanding of Overall Equipment Effectiveness fosters an effective TPM effort.

Because OEE packs a lot of information into one number, it’s powerful. But that can also make it difficult to calculate and confusing to interpret. People commonly get into trouble when they try to:

  • Use OEE primarily as a high-level KPI (key performance indicator)
  • View OEE as an external measure that has meaning to customers
  • Multiply OEE across several machines in a department or plant
  • Calculate OEE on every piece of equipment
  • Gauge themselves against a “world-class” OEE measure
  • Focus on the number for its own sake instead of the improvement context
  • Use OEE as a club rather than a yardstick

Let’s take a look at four key ways that OEE can be used effectively to really help you…MORE


If you would like to talk more about OEE or TPM, Ellis would be happy to hear from you.  You can reach him at

We are looking for a few good men…and women…to present at our 2015 TPM Experience event in New Orleans.  If you have a TPM story to share, send us an outline.  You can get more information and submit your outline by clicking here.

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