A more disciplined approach to asset utilization is being adopted as food and beverage companies push the outer limits of what is possible in existing facilities. As manufacturers try to squeeze more production from assets, there’s an accelerating focus on lean manufacturing, Six Sigma and other approaches to continuous improvement. “Most people approach continuous improvement as one size fits all,” observes Oskin, but the types of issues addressed depend on how effective the organization is in terms of OEE and other KPIs.
- Companies in the top quartile (considered “best in class”) tend to have well-developed maintenance programs and are much less prone to lost production time than other companies. A targeted equipment reliability effort with frequent measurement of improvement is an effective strategy for them.
- The bottom quartile—the “laggards”—also should focus on equipment, though at a more fundamental level. As a result of equipment malfunctions, “every seven or eight minutes, a line stops,” Oskin says. “We’ve seen companies improve asset utilization 30% by addressing that one issue.”