OEE Software - Automating the collection of Overall Equipment Efficiency data



Not sure its the right forum, but

We are looking at automating the collection of OEE data as much as possible.

From searching on google, I came up with :
OEE Toolkit : oeetoolkit.com
Provideam OEE : provideam.com

Anybody have any experiences with any of these? Or any others for that matter?

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Re: OEE Software - Automating the collection of OEE data

I am not a fan of OEE, because it is such an aggregate number and also I am not sure about the value of this number.

Do want to automate the data collection or only to improve your reporting capability?

adrianpask - 2011

Re: OEE Software - Automating the collection of OEE data

Hi Steven,

I sincerely hope that i can help.

Firstly as per the TOC of the site: I specialise in helping people to automate the collection of production data and my business provides a range of automated solutions to achieve this. I personally spend a lot of time helping blue chip and SME companies implement methods of measuring and reducing downtime.....and that's all i'll say by way of the commerical bit!

Something you may be interested in - i recently contributed to an article by the Director of Cranfield Best Factory in April edition of Works Management on this very topic. You can find this on the Works Management website in the 'digital download' section. Sorry i can't post links as i'm a new user!

Oh a quick thought (i'm writing this after finishing everything else!) - here's an idea of what an OEE system should be: "A good data capture system is simply a robust resource allocation tool". Whatever you do it should lead directly to people doing something differently as a result of using the data. Now you can probably ignore everything else i've written below...and feel free to read on!

If i may offer some advice it would be in the following areas:
1. Identify where the constraint is in your process

2. Identify the measure that not only tells you the extent of the constraint, but what the contributing factors to loss are

3. Understand the metric, automate it and train people thoroughly. Get their buy in and support.

4. Establish a robust management review methodology based on the metric - hence the need for automation; an automated process frees up your management team to fix the losses not spend all their time calculating them.

1. Identify the constraint:
If i may offer some advice it would be to help identify what your objective for recording the data might be. Whatever you choose to record i would recommend that it measures the constraint in your manufacturing process. If your constraint is a mechanical one - i.e. to produce more produce you just need to run a machine more/get less stops then OEE is a great measure for you. If however, your constraint is relieved by hiring more people, or more generally your constraint is labour based then i would steer you towards more of a man hour / tonne type metric.

2. The correct measure:
The value to OEE is not that you get an OEE number. You've made what you've made - there's little point in reviewing it. I visit so many sites that can tell me their OEE but can't tell me where their losses are. The value to measuring OEE is in the categorisation of loss. If you know the loss you can apply the right tool to fix.
E.g. for OEE:
3 Loss: Quality, Performance, Availability
6 Loss: Speed, minor stops, major stops, quality in process, quality on startup, planned downtime.

If you have a planned downtime loss apply smed techniques. If you have a minor stop loss apply kaizan blitz techniques. The value is not the OEE number - it's the collection and categorisation of the loss that counts!

3. Understand and train:
There are 2 main schools of thought on the collection of OEE data. One is the manual school that says it's better for operators to collect so that they understand and you get the 'real losses'. The other is the automated school that says it's better to get the correct data and then work out the real losses later.

An automated system only ever tells you symptoms for your downtime - its diagnostics are only so good as the signals you give it. That said, how often has an operator identified the real root cause for a stop - 9.9 times out of 10 they'll note down a symptom.

My personal belief is that it's better to use an automated system that captures your losses accurately...and then use management process and review to drill down. Manual data systems like the ones you've listed take a lot of work to maintain and i have yet to find one that's accurate to >60% simply due to the nature of human data capture.

Therefore i sit firmly in the second school and am capable of installing a system that correctly identifies loss on canning/bottling/packing lines running at >30,000units/hour to accuracies of over 98%.

The message here is again back to objectives - what do you want to achieve. Whichever root you choose involve your teams. I remember installing a system in a bottling plant in which the operator came up to me and said "this is crap, all crap. I'll show you - i'll find all the problems with your system". It was brilliant! He was the best snagger i've ever met. I just took all his feedback and fixed it all. After a month he had to admit the system was good because he'd commissioned it for me! Now stop him from training everyone else on 'his system'!

4. Robust process:

A system is ONLY so good as how it's used. You could spend £10 or £180,000 on a system. If you don't use it you'll get the same result and the same payback.

We often support people to establish robust internal processes for using the data, documenting the actions that arise from interrogating the data, and then a management review process for driving change. Typically this looks as follows:

1. 24hr daily reviews - looking at 24hr data. Objective is to identify what actions are still open, see if we have any reoccurring issues, assign resource where needed.

2. 4hr Short Interval Control - a regular review (initially at 4 hr intervals, moving to 2) with front line management and engineers. 1st objective is to identify greatest loss from last window of time and ensure closed off. 2nd objective is to identify what needs to be done differently in the next window of time based on the data currently available.

3. A variety of strategic review - looking at trended data for maintenance, engineering, planning, forecasting etc.

Remember - your level of payback is directly related to how you use the data.

So what OEE system works? Whichever one you commit to using fully. My advice would be to look beyond a software download as i think you may struggle to use it fully simply as it's reliant on manual data collection. That said, i've created and implemented several of these in the past on sites performing at between 25-40% OEE and got great results.

Also if you're running at <45% my belief is that you don't need to spend a fortune collecting data because you're line is down for 4 hours in every 8. People know where the issues are because they're in them! But when you head up into the 65%+ territory you'll struggle to continue improving without robust automated data capture.

I've put quite a bit of content there. Just for your info i also have a blog which i can't link to in this note. If you're interested just let me know. I regularly add content....and am probably going to re-post this diatribe above!

Also please feel free to drop me an email or give me a call. I am always delighted to help.




adrianpask - 2011

Woop i can post links!

The works management article on measurement for you: ***Dead Link Removed***
Last edited by a moderator:


Wow, thanks very much for the info. Much appreciated.

At the moment our operators fill in downtimes, good parts, losses etc in a spreadsheet at the end of the shift.
I then use these to report on.

While this is a big help, I know that the accuracy of the data is not that high for various reason and also take a lot of work to maintain.
This is also a big time waster for both the operators and myself.

Again thank you for the help. At the moment we are looking at all options.


adrianpask - 2011

If accuracy is something that's important i would recommend you have a look at our website - Please click on my user name to reach my profile and the relevant links. This is a commercial website for my business and contains some products that we sell in Europe that could help you achieve your goal.

On the area of data collection, if you're doing manual collection i suggest you have a loss category called "unaccounted loss" as a mass balance number.

This should be: total time - production time - allocated losses

If you have any capture system you will always have some element of unallocated loss. If you have a reporting system that has NO unallocated time (i.e. 100% of downtime is accounted for) then £10 says you have people fiddling the numbers.

The idea is that if you know the size of your unallocated loss and it's always your greatest area of loss....then it's time to do something about it!

Happy to answer any questions you have if you want to talk - my number is also in my profile page
Last edited by a moderator:

Craig H.

Yes, but your post also offered some very good information. Thanks for sharing your experience!!!!


Indeed very useful

I am also in the "second school".
The whole idea with implementing a system like that would be to get as accurate information as possible and act on this.

I would rather be looking at how we can increase production and limit losses (and find the cause of them), than waste my own and the operators time
filling out spreadsheets.

I am currently running a demo using the provideam system (all automated data gathering), was actually quite easy to setup.
Our local controls engineer is coming in to have a look at setting up one of the machines in a trial, I'll you know how we get on.

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