Industrial productivity: how to deliver more from assets?
Industrial productivity is a key challenge. Productivity growth from existing assets has several positive impacts on profitability:
- Reduced fixed cost per ton or per product.
- Increased revenue.
- Reduced capital expenditure as capacity investments can be postponed.
When manufacturing sector plants think about productivity, they systematically consider OEE measurement. It is a good starting point as it gives a standardize approach to measure productivity, and first insights about which type of issues are causing lower productivity. However, it will give you limited insights to really act of labor productivity. The reason is that OEE is only the thermometer measuring the consequences many aspects have on productivity. It lacks the story about the root causes.
How to improve productivity? This can be done in two complementary ways. First by tackling all the loss of productivity (Muda) caused by abnormal production process behaviour. Production line stoppage, product scraps… The second approach is to learn from the production process and find new ways to operate at a higher pace. In both cases, OEE will not be sufficient.
Here comes data. Data is a key lever to act on productivity. If you bring together data coming from OEE (stoppage time, its cause, production and scraps volumes…) with manufacturing process data (process parameters, raw material data, quality controls, equipment cycles details…) you will simplify the work of your team of experts for both troubleshooting and improvement actions.
Mathieu CURA, January 2022