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Overall Equipment Effectiveness OEE and the 6 Big Losses

Lean Manufacturing Tools and Techniques


Overall Equipment Effectiveness OEE and the 6 Big Losses

Overall Equipment Effectiveness OEE is a method of measuring key aspects of production, and then working towards improvements based on information and data. For small manufacturers OEE may initially seem complicated, but it need not be. OEE involves some calculations and can be undertaken by hand or with automated systems. Monitoring equipment and process performance is a part of OEE. A core aim is to improve production by reducing downtime, increasing speed and reducing defects. OEE data is sometimes displayed next to key machines, illustrating their productivity over time. Feel free to research more to increase your OEE knowledge, together with tips for application in the workplace.

How to Calculate Overall Equipment Effectiveness OEE

(Courtesy of Advanced Industrial Equipment)

The 6 Big Losses

The 6 Big Losses are the major causes of shortfall in manufacturing and as such are central to Overall Equipment Effectiveness OEE. They are related to the 7 Wastes. Being aware of the 6 big losses, enables employees to spot them and either eliminate or minimise them. They are:


These are classed as a downtime loss. Typically they occur when an unplanned activity halts production, such as something breaking, equipment failing or emergency maintenance.


Setup and Adjustments

This too is categorised as a downtime loss. What happens here is productivity slows or stops as alterations take place in preparation for a change in production. Examples include tooling, die or equipment changes, as well as waiting for materials, parts or people.


Small Stops

This is a speed loss that occurs for a short duration. Examples include blockages, jams, cleaning and inspection.


Slow Running

Again, this is classed as a speed loss. The issue here is equipment not running as fast as it can for some reason. Causes include poor maintenance, wear and tear and poor settings.


Start-up Defects

This is categorised as a quality loss. At the start of a production run, typically there is waste as parts may be defective in some way.


Production Defects

This too is classed as a quality loss. It includes the defective work that has to be scrapped during a production run.

Oee guide from grisellcarba79
6 OEE overview from Webseology

Considerations for TPM Implementation

  • Do some research and get critical staff trained in TPM. Make it clear what you expect employees to do – then employ them to get on and do it. Raise TPM awareness by talking about it in meetings, listing it in job descriptions and including it in appraisals.

  • Consider TPM on a pilot project. Is there an area where you can gain some quick wins – some ‘low hanging fruit’ that can be completed speedily and so demonstrate tangible benefits?

  • Look for the bottlenecks – the hold ups that are most disruptive to the smooth flow you are striving for. Apply TPM here early.

  • Use the typical TPM activities (Inspection, checking, adjusting, lubricating, vibration detection and replacing parts) to develop innovative TPM activities and routines.

  • Employees who work with equipment should be central in the development of any TPM process. There should also be some consultation with the manufacturer’s recommended service and maintenance advice in manuals.
  • Document TPM standards and routines. Be innovative and use photos, labelled images, diagrams and sketches, as well as legible text.

  • Position documented TPM standards and processes next to machines, in production cells and on noticeboards in the work environment.

  • Similarly, develop and use checklists for TPM activities. Decide how frequently machinery and equipment should be maintained and use the checklists to ensure it happens.

  • Consider 5S activities when rolling out TPM. Tasks should include cleaning, housekeeping and orderliness. A useful activity is to take photos before and after these events. Illustrate the contrast by displaying these on noticeboards. Encourage debate among employees.

  • Plan and put in place outsourced specialist maintenance and servicing arrangements, alongside empowered employees undertaking TPM at a local level. Emphasize the difference, so as not to undermine employee TPM initiatives. Arrangements may include annual contracts, call out arrangements, identifying contacts you will call for key equipment etc. There will be activities that require outsourced tasks such as calibration and thorough maintenance. Organize and set these activities up to take place during natural downtime. These tasks are important and preventative, as they minimize the chances of breakdown during production runs. Refer to maintenance manuals for machines and equipment when planning outsourced servicing. A coordinated scheduled      approach to large scale maintenance and servicing needs to be ‘owned’ by someone or some group. Tie it into employee objectives and job roles. Review and audit to ensure it is taking place.

  • A planned maintenance schedule is the perfect complement to traditional TPM. Importantly they are both preventative in their nature and they dramatically reduce the possibility of something falling between the cracks. Having an arrangement with empowered maintenance savvy employees, backed up with pre-arranged external suppliers, will enable you to handle virtually any breakdown issue very quickly. Major issues should be tackled at the root cause level, perhaps using the 5 Why’s tool.

  • Keep trying and don’t give up! Embed TPM into the company culture and way of doing things. Undertake TPM continuous improvement activities. These may include enhanced and updated TPM routines and processes, as well as better timing to fit around planned production schedules. Obtain feedback from all employees involved through meetings, factory walks and suggestions. Likewise reviews and audits provide valuable information about how TPM changes are bedding in. Feed all this back into TPM improvements.

  • Perhaps consider Overall Equipment Effectiveness OEE and monitoring, using a more systematic approach to TPM improvement activities.

  • Celebrate TPM activities and reward teams who adhere to it! To ensure the profile of TPM remains high, enlist senior management support. Get them to lead from the front, communicate their vision and highlight how TPM (and other lean manufacturing initiatives) align to business objectives. Importantly, employees should see how their TPM activities contribute to the bigger picture.

Next... Kaizen: Continuous Improvement

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