Most Production Managers are clear on the areas of major loss within their processes; however getting to the root cause of these issues and doing something about them can be far more challenging.

There has never been a more opportune time to seek improvement; to gain visibility of any waste and react quickly to prevent it. This requires the deployment of specialist tools to expose and quantify the potential wins, assessing the most urgent/profitable to pursue, and controlling the cost. This whitepaper examines the significant benefits that can be achieved by using an OEE System to effectively manage losses and improve operations.

EQUIPMENT FAILURE IS JUST ONE CATEGORY in the total profile of possible failures. In today’s high-pressure manufacturing environment, time constraints and lack of data often result inexpedient quick-fixes over root cause analysis. Nevertheless, the fact remains that with the right information, each deficiency could be an opportunity for increased productivity, profitability, and staff morale.

Many manufacturers are already using Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE), both as a performance indicator and as a catalyst for change. OEE is the standard metric used to “keep score” of manufacturing performance by taking a broad view of all aspects of production. Part of the lean manufacturing toolkit, OEE seeks to drive all elements of waste out of manufacturing processes.

The metric is calculated by multiplying together: OEE = Availability x Performance x Quality.

  • Availability: a measure of the time the plant was actually available for production compared to the manufacturing requirements. Any losses in this area would be due to major breakdowns or extended set up time.
  • Performance: the rate that actual units are produced compared to the designed output. Losses in this area would be due to slow running speed, minor stoppages or adjustments, and material shortages.
  • Quality: a measure of good quality, saleable product, minus any waste. Losses for this element would be damaged rejects or products needing re-work.

To find out how we helped a major UK retailer make measurable savings of £9,000 a week, read our ‘Abattoir Lines’ case study here.

A percentage OEE score is calculated to indicate the relative level of performance against the optimum that can be achieved. Lost opportunity is highlighted, and reducing this waste leads to increased profitability:

  • OEE uncovers previously hidden losses. The result is the ability to produce the same volume in less time (SILT), or to produce more volume in the same time (MIST).
  • Improved manufacturing efficiency has a dramatic knock-on effect on energy consumption; increases in OEE score are tightly coupled with energy savings.
  • OEE can save companies from making inappropriate investments. An integral component of a Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) framework, OEE has become the de facto manufacturing performance metric for manufacturer’s intent on maximising their asset performance and operational efficiency.

While a spreadsheet-based implementation of OEE can highlight areas of improvement, a great deal of time is taken up manipulating and analysing data rather than working on actual improvement. More complex manufacturing facilities will outgrow their spreadsheets very quickly and at that point it is appropriate to look for more powerful OEE collection and analysis tools

A great place to start is focusing on your top five sources of down time. Meet with your team, pick one of the five, and brainstorm countermeasures. Next, implement the most promising countermeasures and monitor their effectiveness. Then – do it again.

XL800 makes it easy to reduce downtime by providing you with a complete, ready-to-go solution for down time analytics that is so fast to implement you can be up and running in hours.

What are my top sources of down time? XL800 presents your top sources of down time in a simple to understand format.


How do I capture the data? XL800 automatically senses when your line goes down. Your operators simply scan a bar code for the reason. In fact, XL even generates the bar codes for you – right from its web interface. No software to install. No special printers.

How do I know if my countermeasures are working? XL800 automatically generates a trend line that clearly shows if down time is truly being reduced. You can view total down time from a historical perspective, or drill down to evaluate trends for specific down time reasons.


What else can I do? XL800 is a complete performance management solution. It provides automated, accurate real-time manufacturing intelligence to everyone in your plant. It includes a production scoreboard that motivates your employees to “win” their shift and it delivers web-based live production information to supervisors and managers – wherever they are.

How long does it take to install? XL800 is easy. It bolts onto your existing production process and you can be literally up and running in hours. Instant gratification is a wonderful thing!