OEE and RCM your way to success!

By the Captain

What is OEE?


OEE, or OverExaggerated Efficiency, is one of the greatest known metrics. I can make OEE numbers look soooooo good. Our numbers are always good, because if they are not, I will beat people over the head so that they get back in line so that I do not get my head kicked in by my boss. Who cares about the 6 Big Losses when my OEE is 109%!

Don’t be jealous. Let me share with you our secrets. The first tip is how to manipulate the Availability calculation:

(Scheduled Time – Downtime) / Scheduled Time


The secret is to take most downtime events out of your scheduled time – that way, you can achieve a higher percentage. It works really well, especially when you pull changeovers out of this time. Remember, the goal is to hit a good number, not unmask issues in the process. We have to save our jobs, not fix things!

Second, the Performance calculation. Do not use the design rate. The main reason for this is that engineering always gives us defective equipment that can’t possibly hit the rate it was designed for. Our equipment always passes the F.A.T. and S.A.T. before it is installed in our environment, so it should work, right? What you should do is take an average hourly run rate over the last year, and then subtract 10%, using this figure as your Max-T performance rate. Also, take the rework-and-rejects average out of your Max-T; that way you have more of a cushion. You can achieve 130%–150% Performance rates with these secrets implemented.

Lastly, Quality. This is simple. Install some sensors on the infeed and outfeed of the conveyors in the packaging area to count the bags as they travel in and out of the conveyor.  Then, link that count to your data historian or HMI/SCADA software and use this as your quality measurement. The possibility of you having quality issues traveling down a conveyor is very slim. This will give you an outstanding Quality rate! If you need a higher-than-100% Quality rate, hire a temp to stand at the end of the conveyor near the sensor and flag it every now and then. This will give you a very good Quality rate. For example, let’s say 100 widgets travel down the conveyor on the infeed. Have the temp flag the sensor 10 times to show that the outfeed produced 110 widgets. This would be a 110% Quality rate! Woot, woot!

What is RCM?


RCM is a world-leading methodology that helps to inform your maintenance strategy. What you may not know is that you are probably already doing it. After all, Really Crappy Maintenance is how we currently do maintenance in most facilities within America. So why aren’t you giving yourself credit for the work you are already doing?

Really Crappy Maintenance takes discipline and a lack of understanding to implement. To truly understand RCM, you need to answer a series of questions. These seven questions will help you understand the magnitude of your maintenance program and figure out if yours is an Really Crappy Maintenance facility:

  1. Have you always done it this way?
  2. Do you prefer channel locks over a torque wrench?
  3. Do you love being a firefighting hero?
  4. Does your equipment fail after doing a PM on it?
  5. Do you know best?
  6. Do you hate change?
  7. What are your metrics?

If you answered “yes” to these questions, yours is a Really Crappy Maintenance department. Congratulations! You are in the 99%.

Remember, take these tips on OEE and RCM to heart. Do you want to look good or not? Implement them now, and I look forward to your success!