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Many components of packaging lines are now run by machinery, but they cannot function properly without human oversight, monitoring, testing, and inspection. What steps are you taking with your packaging to improve your overall equipment effectiveness (OEE?) If your OEE could use some improvements, these tips might help.

The Definition of OEE

Overall Equipment Effectiveness is considered the gold standard for measuring manufacturing productivity. Your OEE percentage represents the portion of manufacturing time that is measurably productive each day. This means that a score of 100% reflects optimal speed, uptime, and quality in sync with planned goals.

Evaluating the OEE of your packaging line is the most efficient way to identify losses, eliminate waste throughout your manufacturing process, and measure progress over time. Many manufacturers are unhappy with their OEE percentage and want to improve it, but where is the best starting point?

In-Line Inspections

According to Robert Rogers, the senior advisor for food safety and regulations for Mettler Toledo, Production Inspection, in-line product inspection is one of the very best ways to improve your OEE and get the most value from your capital investment.

Rather than relying on offline sampling for quality control, in-line product inspection involves evaluating 100% of all products for conformity. This makes it possible to identify mistakes and problems at multiple points in the manufacturing process and remove non-conforming products earlier.

Since an OEE that is not 100% is automatically not working at full capacity, in-line product inspection is an essential component of cutting costs, boosting productivity, and minimizing waste. For instance, in-line product inspection can identify a non-conforming product only ¼ of the way through the manufacturing process and remove it from the system. This is dramatically more efficient than offline sampling, which only tests final products after all raw materials have been used to make them. The non-conforming products that are thrown away in offline sampling accumulate so much avoidable waste.

Of course, having the right equipment is also an essential component of improving your OEE. Econocorp Inc. is a worldwide leader in cartoning, tray forming, and casepacking for moderate and low production volumes. Econocorp makes packaging simple and affordable. Call (781) 986-7500 to learn more!