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Automated OEE, Industry 4.0

Automated OEE, Industry 4.0

When implementing an automatic OEE system you have made the first step into the Industry 4.0 world of interconnectivity, remote observation, remote support. This will be the first step. It will depend on the machines you have and the data that are available on how far you can go.

Automated OEE

We have seen that the OEE value is a good indicator for the functioning of our production system. Gathering the data and making the calculation is not of today. Automation is the way. Not only does it make life simpler, it allows to inform the teams of operators to see the result of their work.

Bigger screens allow live information on the shop-floor, so everyone is informed about the performance.

OEE Industry 4.0.

Source: Vorne

A link to ERP systems allows information on such issues like the order in process, informing also about the next order, so everyone knows what’s next. It is possible to show the size of the running order and the percentage completed, so all know that in XX minutes the product change starts. It allows simple personal planning like when to make a toilet stop. Everyone knows that in 10 minutes the format change starts, so all can be prepared; materials readied. 

Machine Overview

Source: Axxos

This example shows 2 filling lines, showing the OEE of each line and which machine in the line has a problem or is down.

OEE example industry 4.0

Such screens can be used for announcing when training is done, when a team meeting will take place etc. It creates a different world involving everyone in the production team. Involvement leads to a commitment that leads to better work. Nowadays there are many companies offering automatic systems to register the data on availability, speed, short stops etc. that will give you a real-time OEE value. 

Predictive maintenance

The OEE system does capture many parameters of the system. Speeds, number of stops etc. etc. At the same time, many components in the system have their own sensors. Motors have temperature sensors to prevent overheating. Servo drives often can measure the torque. Some components measure vibrations etc. All these data allow a continuous monitoring of the “health” of the system. 


Combine this with the data captured through the autonomous maintenance measures described in chapter 4. This allows your engineering personal to define when components are bound to fail. 

The picture above shows that the objective at most companies is to improve the performance through improvement of availability and quality. The subject of predictive maintenance is worth a book itself.

I do not want to go deeper into this, but remind you, that when implementing an automatic OEE system you have made the first step into the Industry 4.0 world of interconnectivity, remote observation, remote support etc. This will be the first step. It will depend on the machines you have and the data that are available how far you can go. To what extend motor status, vibrations, temperature data are available will define to what degree you can implement this.

If you do want to go into this direction, I do advise to seek specialists in your surrounding and investigate this.


I do want to congratulate you that you have taken the time to read all the articles. In that process you have seen the value of the OEE numbers as an indicator how well your production line is performing.

As you have seen, OEE is not a simple single number. Your OEE may look good but looking inside it may show a differentiation that tells where there are opportunities for improvement.

The whole is targeting at predictability. When you can make a planning and execute that planning accordingly, it also means that your financial planning works. Unexpected surprises like down time, difficult start up, running at low speed, maintenance interruptions only will reduce output and reduce the financial results.

I hope you and your company is willing to go through the change process to really achieve the improvements. That will result in a continuous process always improving more and more. A never-ending story.

Example of an OEE screen

OEE factor

The OEE has improved from shift 1 to shift 2 from 83,3 to 84,8%. That looks good, but something has gone wrong in the quality. There is a drop from 99.5 to 96%.

It is possible that the cost of quality losses is high due to loss of packaging material that is waste and cannot be re-used. Cost for dumping the material. The cost of rework may be very high, adding to the total cost of quality losses. 

Therefore, it is useful to have the 3 numbers available.

The OEE itself is a good quick indicator, but the detail numbers give you the insights.

I hope you have become aware, that making optimal use of this technology may require changes in the whole company. I hope you have seen that it offers opportunities to the company but also to the people working in the company. It is an opportunity for personal development that generally leads to better performance and thus helps to achieve the goals of the company.

Related articles:

What Can Do for You? What OEE means and why, when you want to increase your margin

How to Start Measuring OEE and Define What and Where Are Your Problems?

Where to Start Mending: 5S and TPM - What Can OEE Do for You?

Where to Start With the Overall Equipment Effectiveness?

Center Lining and SMED

Challenges to Management

Training and Education

Leading image Neo Fenghuang/

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