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    Minor Stoppages-A Significant OEE Reducer?

    Minor stoppages are one of the most insidious reducers of OEE on the production floor. The main reason for this is that the people who know the most about them, operators, often consider them as “normal” operating conditions. Thus they are not discussed as problems when line performance is reviewed.

    Identifying these small events can be done using manual “tick charts” or some method of tracking cause and duration. Because these events usually occur very frequently (multiple times per shift), significant data will accumulate in a matter of a couple of weeks. This data generally will follow the standard 80/20 rule. So about 80% of the lost production time can be recovered by fixing about 20% of the causes.

    The good news is that many of the causes are often relatively easy and inexpensive to fix. Once identified they can be a nearly instant source of new-found production capacity. Fixing them also tends to improve morale on the operating floor and shows people that minor improvements can make a big difference.

    We would encourage you to get your operators on one line in your plant to gather the data needed. Show them how to do it and explain the goals to them. Chart and publish the results. Then work on the identified causes. An operator and a maintenance technician assigned to solve each problem makes a great improvement team and requires little or no extra management effort. Establishing a work order in the CMMS for each cause creates a tracking mechanism for return to spending ratio (ROI) and creates a budget for each improvement team.

    Get started now! This is an inexpensive and high return initiative that improves both throughput and morale.

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