300% output in a high performance industry within 2,5 years. Is that possible with OEE in Chemicals?

Using OEE in Chemicals to drive Continuous Improvement: What does it look like?

About the Company

a Swiss multinational specialized in -among others- industrial adhesives for automotive, aerospace and construction builds a new industry 4.0 based factory with process-, batch- and discrete equipment in a value-stream oriented factory with AGV’s, robots and highly automated processes. All steered by 13 computer systems.

However, although serious investments, intensive training of management and staff, after 1.5 years the expected capacity can -by far- not be achieved. 


The Request

A huge capital investment is more and more likely to fail. Experts no longer provide answers. The staff is toiling and benevolent, but keeps getting stuck. Help! How do we get out of here?

The manufacturer turned to us, requesting to guide the staff to the way out.

Is OEE in Chemicals useful for such situations?

OEE in Chemicals: Our Approach

Our 25 years of experience in the implementation of OEE at more than 5000 different machines, show similar patterns in most Western factories:

The vast majority of machines:

  • Are far from reliable
  • Show long changeover times
  • Show huge capacity potential

But also:

  • Were never designed to operate in a smooth value stream
  • Are poorly being understood on how to function in a real world environment, even by its designers and builders…
  • …and therefore it is almost impossible to know what needs to be done to structurally improve the process in the valuestream.

What typically is being measured:

Typically in a best case scenario, it is being measured what has actually been done:

The hidden machine made visible with OEE coach


What we wanted to reveal is what the machines COULD have been doing, but didn’t and why. Together with the crew, we started to figure out where the hidden machines where.


Your machine versus the hidden machine


OEE in Chemicals Capability Analysis

TEEP- OEE and OOE (Overall Operations Effectiveness) Availability

The first analysis is: How  are the assets being used? We start with 24/7 at 100% speed and 100% quality as the reference:

TEEP in chemicals: Loss pie

Yep, the customer is right; About half of the time the expensive equipment is not scheduled to run and from the scheduled time, just a very small portion of the capacity is actually being used.

Within the scheduled shifts this is what we see:

 OEE in chemicals: loss pie

Observation 1: The current effectiveness is far too low AND can be boosted. The good news is: there is a lot of waiting; so organisational issues. But also quite a portion of technical issues. Could be tricky since it is new equipment. 

Let’s do a quick check where we lose our availability:

OEE pareto availability losses


Observation 2: 
Serious amount of technical issues on two major components and lots of delays around changeovers. 

How facts drove Continuous Improvement

Teaching the teams

We did setup OEE registrations on all relevant machines in the valuestream.

We trained the teams not only how to register, but also how to do the daily reporting.

Daily Management

Every day, the teams meet with the support departments and present their loss-analyses. This results in the determination of which loss should have the main focus. Every month ONE topic is fully analyzed and eliminated via a kaizen activity.

Daily Management Team with OEE in chemicals

Kaizen activities

Every month the kaizen teams present their work AND results to the management and all stakeholders. Every month people experience their success, while the others see how hard they worked to get there. Mutual respect and trust grows rapidly.

Kaizen Team presentation based on OEE

Involving suppliers

Step by step root-causes were tackled. At some point, a machine vendor was not responding to the customer. Since the customer could provide detailed data about the machines behaviour, the supplier was forced to take appropriate action. When, during a visit, he saw how dedicated the teams worked with his machines, his attitude changed and he became very cooperative to the requests of the team.

How about reliability?

Many smaller and bigger design flaws were detected and solved. Besides Preventive Maintenance also Autonomous Maintenance was implemented. The MTTR steadily went down:
MTTR improvement with OEE Coach
This shows the importance of a solid focus on maintenance and not being afraid to educate the shop-floor. Small inspections, cleaning and lubrication tasks were delegated to the operator team which leaves the maintenance engineers time to perform more specialized tasks.

How about changeovers?

Team members analysed and developed their own changeover practices.
change-over time reduction from 23 to 8 minutes with OEE Coach
Having everyone involved and onboard gives the sustainability a far higher chance.

In the ‘daily management’ meetings, it will become immediately visible when change overs become less stable or of longer duration.


Observation 3: 
Using OEE to involve all parties on the shopfloor creates a common language with common goals but most of all:


It creates a pleasant and constructive atmosphere


The (first) results...

Is it worth while to invest in Continuous Improvement based on OEE?

Using OEE as a compass, driving and steering the Continuous Improvement activities of the factories is more than just knowing whether the machine runs and how fast. This is where the average  manufacturer stops.

In this business case, we give a ‘high over’ example of how OEE Coach is meant to be used and what can be achieved. The result in 2.5 years:

300% OEE improvement in 2,5 years


Observation 4: 
Finding and activating the ‘hidden machine’ once more proven to be possible.

How does it work?


  1. Team measures ‘Hidden Machine’
  2. Team visualizes- and presents ‘Losses’ daily
  3. Support departments actively respond and support
  4. Management actively steers (long term) and supports
  • ONE common language
  • Transparent FACTS give DIRECTION
  • EVERYONE involved
Datalyze Loge with currency

Can there be done even more?

The potential increase in effectiveness is enormous. After 2.5 years the output became tripled. And yet there is another huge potential present. The good news now is:

The potential is no longer hidden. Everyone can see it, everyone seeks opportunities to get into it.

This change in culture might be the biggest gain from your OEE Implementation!

After 2.5 years this is the picture:

OEE proves: Machine can double output


But it goes further: using ALL available time, this machine might be used to even produce 4 times the current amount of output:


Machine can have 4 times the current output based on this OEE


What did this cost?

  • No capital investment in equipment!
  • No extra workforce!
  • No more m²!
  • No extra complexity!
  • No people got squeezed…
  • …nor suppliers!

Yes yes, but what did it COST?


It did cost quite some management focus; focus that otherwise was used to run after the same problems over and over again.

Developing people

It also cost a lot of time in setting up trainings for people, developing the management and having standard procedures in place. All from an existing budget that the average manufacturer has no idea of how- and what to use for…

Hiring a good ‘Sensei’

External knowledge was hired on a regular bases. In the dynamics of a manufacturing company, it helps to have an experienced outsider injecting knowledge and guiding the development process. Hiring not the cheapest might prove to be the most profitable -if he knows how to do his job well.

Here, every improvement week the teams delivered improvement projects worth between 300.000 and 2.3 million euros. No rocket science needed to understand the ROI.

The cost of having excellent OEE software

Let’s talk about the cost of having the wrong software; software not able to support the teams in the right way…?

We offer a 3 months trial were we show the potential in your factory. After these 3 months you decide to purchase the software. The cost of our software is so competitive that you very likely already earned the investment even before you purchase the software after the trial period. If not, we guarantee you will earn back the software within a year otherwise we will return your purchase.


OEE Coach makes visible what others do not see.

OEE in pharma

Doubling in Pharma?

Can OEE in Pharma double the capacity of a pharmaceutical packaging line while reducing the cost?..

Let us Analyse your Potential!

What if there is a hidden machine behind your current one?

Before you think about capital investments, let us do the math!

You might be surprised about the Gold that is hidden in your facility…


Let us calculate your ROI?

Want to know how much potential we see?  Let us do the math!