A factory can be idle and secretive by hiding productivity opportunities – this is called the ‘hidden factory’.
What is the hidden factory?
The hidden factory is a concept that refers to the unseen parts of a manufacturing process that results in losses – it represents capacity that isn’t being used to produce goods.
The most significant benefit of tapping into the hidden factory is that manufacturers can increase throughput without additional capital expenditure and usually at a better margin. It can unlock capacity, reduce labour and material costs and therefore improve customer satisfaction.
Use OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) to expose the hidden factory.
OEE is a powerful yet simple measurement that can help manufacturers expose their hidden factory.
OEE identifies the percentage of manufacturing time that is truly productive. It helps identify unused or poorly used resources that produce losses where there could be value.
OEE, is an indicator of the sum of three production measures: uptime, quality, and throughput. By monitoring OEE, manufacturers can find hidden capacity. OEE offers an educated view of how, why, and when stoppages or downtime occur.
By tracking OEE, manufacturers can understand the true potential of their factories. OEE quantifies and visualises losses from production lines and machines. It shows what was produced with the resources available and what could have been produced – the hidden factory.
OEE is a continuous improvement tool that is easy to implement with the right MES (Manufacturing Execution System) software. With AspectPT MES, OEE can be calculated within seconds.
“Previously calculating OEE was a significant task. It took a week and a half to download and analyse a month’s production. Now with AspectPL it takes 20 seconds and because it’s easy to calculate, we constantly review it. This means we are supplying more product; production is on time and our labour costs have reduced.” Luke Sutherland Operations Manager, Cromford Pipe, Australia
Expose your hidden factory by easily measuring Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) and produce more goods with existing resources.