Driving equipment effectiveness with automated data capture

Posted on 22 Mar 2024 by The Manufacturer

Accurate real-time data automatically captured from machines creates the foundation for improved OEE and more profitable production.

Automating data collection offers manufacturers a reliable way to improve business performance by quickly building the foundations for improved overall equipment effectiveness (OEE). That’s because OEE is critically linked to profitability as a key efficiency and productivity metric. Investment in improved OEE can therefore deliver streamlined processes, reduced downtime, and increased throughput.

However, a survey SoftServe conducted of over 400 leading manufacturers in the US and Europe surprisingly did not note improved OEE as one of their top priorities. Instead, their top three areas of focus were:

  1. Physically upgrading manufacturing technology to connect with IT infrastructure (51%)
  2. Becoming more cost- and resource-efficient (49%)
  3. Optimising energy management (48%)

The irony lies in the fact that each of these areas benefits immensely from improved OEE. And companies with fully automated OEE data capture report much stronger OEE results. So, if OEE data collection automation can deliver such significant benefits for manufacturers’ bottom lines, why are so few doing it?

The failings of manual OEE data collection

To begin answering that question, it’s crucial to recognise the limitations of manual data capture. While your operators excel at ensuring quality and speedy production, data recording may not be their forte. In fact, manual data recording can end up being a source of errors, providing only limited insight into actual overall machine operations.

Beyond that, the manual effort behind inputting machine data is not just labour-intensive. It is also imprecise and offers only a fragmentary view. The extensive cost and labour involved in gathering and correlating significant data from various sources often make comprehensive analysis a challenge.

When you harness the power of automation to capture crucial metrics like equipment uptime, speed, and performance, you’re ensuring significantly more accurate and actionable insights.

Automated data capture leads to stronger OEE results

Despite the obvious advantages of automation, manual data capture remains prevalent, even among larger manufacturers. Our research reveals that a notable 43% of manufacturers are still grounded in traditional OEE data collection practices.

On the other hand, a similar percentage — four in ten — reported a strong OEE score. That segment of SoftServe respondents also reported the most mature OEE data capture automation. That’s no coincidence. What projects are these OEE frontrunners pursuing with their enhanced data capture?

The primary reasons for gathering OEE data are to augment productivity (54%) and pinpoint quality glitches (42%). Additionally, manufacturers with strong OEE data collection are better able to deploy digital twin technology. That additional resource puts them a step ahead in product optimization, predictive equipment maintenance, and quality assurance.

First steps towards greater productivity with automated OEE data capture

The journey towards automating machine data collection begins by establishing connections to machines that utilise industrial protocols. This leads to enhanced manufacturing throughput, transforming the way manufacturers understand and leverage their data.

Automation and data analysis are shaping the future of OEE and paving the way for enhanced productivity and profitability. If you’re ready to unlock the full potential of your manufacturing operations and drive significant improvements in OEE, it’s time to act.

Take the first step towards maximising your manufacturing efficiency by delving into SoftServe’s comprehensive survey with industry leaders. Download our survey to learn the top three blockers to robust, automated OEE data capture, how you can overcome them, and what you can do with all that data once you have it.

Let’s embark on this transformative journey together and elevate the industry’s OEE and production to new heights.

Driving equipment effectiveness with automated data capture Paul Fryer, Enterprise Solutions Lead at SoftServe, has a rich history in technology and industry, with 20 years of experience across a variety of industries. Having supported some of the world’s largest automotive manufacturers in their digital transformation journeys and been at the forefront of the DevOps transition and the move into modern Cloud Ops, Paul is well placed to help customers understand what strategic value is and how to map tools and technology to achieve meaningful change.

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