Not comparing… make waste visible

Heriberto Ramirez • Ok I got you, comparing our machines or even plants in different countries is not a good idea…

In the end what we really want is to make the waste visible and drive improvement where is needed.

Arno Koch • Ok Heriberto, this is a great starting point!
So let’s agree that comparing OEE’s is not exactly fulfilling this need.
How could you fulfill it, what could be done?

  1. Make sure that on the equipment you want to focus your improvement activities all (ALL) losses are visualized. Equipment that cannot be supported at this point is not yet bothered. The OEE industry Standard will guide you, in order to get as many as possible losses on the table.
  2. Take away any ‘treat’ that may be experienced by the crews who are exposing themselves and becomes vulnerable. Instead support them and encourage them in being honest.
  3. So if an OEE is low and the crew can exactly show where all the losses are: reward them! They just gave you a huge present namely an identified potential for improvement! When a team is showing of with window-dressing high numbers and barely any losses; challenge them! “Look better, find us the losses!”
  4. If you now see losses clearly, study how the improvement proceeds. Ie setup times have been improved by 50% on machine A and 5% on machine B. What was different on machine A? What can team B learn from team A. Now instead of threatening teams (this is what comparing feels like) you support an open communication. Remember; the enemy is not called plant B, it is called Competitor X.
  5. Challenge teams to halve whatever loss they found. And when they did so: offer them a stage where they can present how and what they did to get this result. The psychological effect is immense. Reward structured loss reduction activities, discourage improvements by ‘shots from the hip’ or adding space, people, money or complexity.
  6. You want to compare? Compare the amount of successfully closed improvement activities (halving a loss without investment etc.) Compare the amount of certain losses reduced, in a way they themselves thought of as ‘honest comparison’. Compare the depth of analysis between teams, the stability of OEE, and maybe the height and stability of quality rates.

But whenever you compare, ask yourselves: “What will be the result on the behavior of the teams”. If it is not supporting real improvement: refrain from it.

There is much more to say about this subject but this should give you enough hints to find your way. Let us hear how your company is going to proceed on this?

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