Does OLE mess with your OEE?

Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) has found widespread acceptance throughout the manufacturing industry. As a tracking mechanism that looks closely at the performance, availability and quality output of the packaging machines and systems, it perfectly aligns with continuous improvement processes such as LEAN, Six Sigma and TPM.  It helps raise awareness for degradation issues, identifies the areas with the greatest improvement needs and provides feedback on the success of any continuous improvement measures.

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So what is OLE?

OLE stands for Overall Labor Effectiveness and just like OEE, it measures the cumulative effect of availability, performance, and quality—but for people. And since machines don’t run themselves, OLE and OEE are tightly interconnected.

Labor Availability

Many factors influence workforce availability and therefore the potential output of the packaging equipment and the manufacturing plant. From simple absenteeism, turnover issues and personnel shortages to having the person with the right skills available at the right time significantly affect the number of productive hours.

Labor Performance

Performance is a measurement that looks at the speed at which a given task can be completed successfully – how fast a fault can be recovered, how fast a machine can be changed from one product line to another or how fast an empty magazine can be restocked. Performance is generally closely connected to experience, skills and a general aptitude to learning.

Labor Quality

The quality of the work measures scrap or rework as well as start-up losses and generally involves factors such as the training, skills and access to the right tools to follow procedures.

To maximize the packaging line investment, manufacturers aim to reduce or eliminate the so called Six Big Losses - Breakdown, Changeover, Reduced Speed, Small Stops, Scrap or Rework and Yield or Start-up Losses – the most common causes of efficiency loss in manufacturing. They universally apply to the equipment as well as the labor force operating and maintaining the equipment. For simplicity sake, OLE factors are often folded into the OEE equation, where they may or may not receive the attention they deserve.

Whether you measure OLE separately or as part of OEE, it is clear that the work of the operators and maintenance technicians directly impact the availability, performance and quality output of the equipment. So it is safe to say that improving the overall labor effectiveness, whether explicitly measured or not will result in an improved OEE.

Welcome to User Centric Design

This is exactly what we here at Pearson set out to do when we implemented User Centric Design. By simplifying the interaction between the human operator and machine interface, we help operators and maintenance technicians with varying levels of experience and expertise to complete their tasks successfully and at a higher speed.

User Centric Design is an engineering and product development philosophy that aims to make the interaction with our machines as intuitive as possible. We want to reduce the learning curve, make it easy to interpret data from the machine into actionable information, minimize the margin for human errors and make set up, changeover and fault recovery a faster and more seamless process resulting in improved up time and equipment availability.

To learn more about the benefits and implementation of Pearson’s User Centric Design also read Pearson Adopts User Centric Design.