Manufacturing Insights for Next-Level Productivity and Sustainability

How to move beyond overall equipment effectiveness (OEE), unlock productivity hours and advance sustainability at the manufacturing edge.

It’s Friday. Stephanie, the plant manager at a pharmaceutical manufacturing facility, is excited about her weekend plans with her family. Two hours before her shift is to end, she is informed that a bioreactor’s agitator slowed down without the operator’s knowledge. The batch must be scrapped and remade. As a result, the production schedule is now delayed, causing the plant to miss the promised customer ship date. If the operator had known that the agitator had slowed down, this could all have been avoided. Stephanie’s weekend plans just got interrupted.

While this scenario is hypothetical, it is based on real-world experiences. Traditional manufacturing metrics, such as overall equipment effectiveness (OEE), help measure operational productivity. However, OEE cannot generate actionable, root cause analyses that help correct issues before they occur. Dell Technologies is helping manufacturers adopt edge computing to modernize and digitize operations and exploit untapped data and gain proactive new capabilities to do just that – and more.

Opportunities Abound

By measuring the percentage of manufacturing time that is productive, OEE helps quantify efficiency. In general terms, an OEE of 85 percent is considered high and a benchmark of world-class manufacturing. Moving beyond OEE helps to continuously improve and optimize operations and can deliver next-level outcomes.

Specifically, there are several root-cause areas where new capabilities can help manufacturers move beyond OEE, such as:

    • Manual processes. Consider manual processes such as “walk the floor” assessments that create poor visibility into shift performance, progress status and analyses that consume too much time and effort, taking resources away from other priorities.
    •  Bottlenecks, siloed data and inconsistencies. Bottlenecks due to siloed data and inconsistencies in performance measurements prevent proper benchmarking and integrating data into a holistic operational view. This hampers site-wide prioritization, optimization and accountability.
    • Sustainability. As a pressing and universal need, it is difficult to advance and accelerate sustainability efforts due to productivity constraints.

That’s why leveraging untapped data and optimizing edge capabilities can be – and is – a real game-changer for manufacturing.

What to Do

Simply put, the solution lies in implementing a digital performance management system to enable optimization beyond OEE.

Dell Technologies has crafted manufacturing edge solutions that allow for fast, simple implementation to better support the rapid achievement of business results. Dell Validated Design for Manufacturing Edge with PTC is a scalable, interoperable Digital Performance Management solution that simplifies edge insights for operational excellence.

Manufacturing Outcomes

The real “a-ha” is what a Digital Performance Management solution can do for manufacturers. Outcomes can be significant and include:

    • Gain insights that drive continuous improvement initiatives
    • Focus efforts and time on the highest-impact opportunities
    • Accelerate identification and prioritization of top losses
    • Confirm value based on production data
    • Facilitate team huddle and continuous improvement initiatives tracking
    • Measure factory performance consistently across the network
    • Drive top floor to shop floor visibility and accountability

The solution deploys a closed loop capability that keeps process improvements on-going. This helps manufacturers gain efficiencies and reduce the hours required for production. As a result, less energy is required for production, helping to advance sustainability efforts.

Technology is transforming manufacturing. The traditional KPI landscape – beyond OEE – is expanding to provide more actionable insights, generated continuously. In turn, these insights are creating next-level improvements in manufacturing. So, going forward, plant managers like Stephanie can further elevate world-class production while also enjoying family weekend time.

You can discover more manufacturing insights or to reach out to a business advisor for additional information by visiting Dell’s manufacturing edge solutions page.

Jason Nassar

About the Author: Jason Nassar

Jason Nassar is a Senior Consultant Product Manager for Dell Technologies with a focus on developing winning strategies and solutions for the edge. He has over 18 years of technical and product leadership experience over multiple verticals including, Aviation, Hybrid and Electric vehicles, Power Generation and Manufacturing. Jason has a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and a Master’s Degree in Energy Systems Engineering from the University of Michigan. He currently works remote, and is located in the Houston, Texas area.