How to Determine OEE Benchmark Data for Your Factory

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By Peggy Fonrose - August 13, 2021

Determining and improving your factory’s overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) is crucial if you want to boost performance. The first step to improving OEE is benchmarking data. OEE gives numerical value to the performance of every piece of equipment, factoring in availability, performance, and quality of output. 

Collecting this data helps you calculate OEE, which requires combining the six big losses of total productive maintenance (TPM) into one number that shows how effectively a piece of equipment is operating. OEE consolidates various KPIs into a single score, exposing equipment’s efficiency and providing a percentage based on the data of three crucial metrics: 

  • Availability: The amount of downtime—planned or unplanned—during production time
  • Quality: The percentage of good parts during production time
  • Performance: The speed of actual production of each part compared to the theoretical fastest time for each part


Why OEE Benchmarking Data Is Important

Using OEE benchmark data means comparing the performance of a specific production asset to its past performance, other similar assets, industry standards, and the results of different shifts and workers. Benchmarking OEE is the only way to effectively measure improvement or pinpoint problems to help eliminate excessive waste and ineffective processes.


Scores to Help Benchmark OEE Data

Knowing what your OEE score means will help you identify benchmark data that you can use to plan improvements and track results. Tracking OEE benchmark data results provides insights into lines, equipment, and shift worker behavior, helping you adjust to boost productivity. Additionally, you can identify interruptions and address them to improve throughput, eliminating wasteful work or unnecessary repetitions. These improvements lead to reduced costs.


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There are four general OEE benchmark score categories. Here’s an explanation of the different OEE scores:

  • 100 percent: perfect. This means you are only manufacturing good parts and doing so as fast as possible—which means 0 percent stop time.
  • 85 percent: world class. Reaching 0 percent stop time to get that “perfect” score is difficult, and a very lofty goal for most manufacturers. That’s why many organizations consider “world class” to be their long-term goal; it is more realistic and sustainable than reaching for perfection.
  • 60 percent: good, but room for improvement. Although there is clearly plenty of room to grow, this is a somewhat common number for manufacturers. If your benchmark OEE comes in at 60 percent, you may want to set goals to incrementally get to “world class” status at 85 percent.
  • 40 percent: room for improvement. This seems like a long way from “perfect” or “world class,” but it is a typical number for factories that benchmark their OEE for the first time. The good news is that there are often “easy” improvements that can almost immediately increase the score, such as identifying the most common reason for unscheduled stops.

Common OEE Score Obstacles 

Once they start the OEE benchmarking process, many food manufacturers encounter the same common obstacles impacting their OEE scores. The top five are:

  1. Human error: Often the result of poor communication, human error is common. Even the best-trained employee can cause an error on the production line, which is why using lean manufacturing methods—such as continually reviewing your training Value Stream Map—can help you identify training gaps that may impact overall throughput. Once the part of the process has been identified and corrected, throughput improves. 
  2. Material jams and equipment failures: This obstacle causes excess product rejects, which can lead to a lot of unplanned downtime, financial loss, decreased throughput, and increased waste. Tracking OEE benchmark data helps managers see how equipment is performing so they can make better choices on whether to repair or replace. 
  3. Breakdowns or errors in the production line: Anything that stops, slows, or reduces process speed eats costs and severely impacts throughput. Identifying when, where, and why processes are slow or stopped is the only way to document and track improvement. 
  4. Missed production targets: Daily targets are crucial, and missing them is directly related to price hikes. When a plant is successfully meeting daily target metrics, managers and supervisors know that overall customer requirements are being met and they are avoiding price hikes. 
  5. Inaccurate information: Too many manufacturers are surprised to learn that the information they use to make decisions is faulty. This can often be caused by human error in the form of someone on staff accidentally providing the wrong information repeatedly.

Perspective on OEE Benchmarking Scores

It’s not impossible, but for most food manufacturers, reaching 100 percent OEE on even one piece of equipment is a steep challenge. Even with intricately calibrated equipment and the most informed and communicative staff, there is always room for human error. Finding success using OEE benchmark data means understanding the performance of equipment in your plant’s specific situation.

If your first OEE benchmark is 40 percent or lower, set realistic goals. Instead of setting yourself up to feel like you missed a huge goal when you don’t hit 100 percent right away, start by striving for a more reachable number, like 60 percent. Once you reach that goal, then you can start looking at the possibility of “world class” results.


Get Real-Time Tracking with an OEE Calculator

It is crucial to track your production equipment’s availability and efficiency in real time to assess overall performance. Worximity’s free OEE calculator can help you get started.

Our OEE calculator can be your first step toward understanding your improvement opportunities. With the OEE calculator, you can track your percentage of availability, performance, and quality to get benchmark data. This information helps managers assess and identify what needs to be improved and where, so they can set appropriate goals. Get the free OEE calculator now.


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Worximity provides simple realtime technologies to solve food processor pains such as downtime, rejects, waste, overtime; helping them gain profit velocity by improving throughput, yield and OEE.

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