How to Achieve Higher OEE Ratings with Data Integration

Overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) is a key barometer of productivity in an industrial manufacturing plant because it provides a single measure of how well the manufacturing process is performing. Manufacturers want high OEE ratings which result from effective use of equipment at the required speed and efficiency while maintaining high levels of quality. When OEE ratings are lower, it means that one of the underlying metrics such as availability, performance, or quality is not where it needs to be.

Manufacturers often find that the data driving the underlying OEE metrics resides in many different data sources. This creates the need to pull together disparate information for OEE dashboards, as well as general reporting and visualization of the manufacturing operations.

Integration of heterogeneous data sources can be a complicated, confusing, multistep process. To obtain true manufacturing intelligence and insight for manufacturing operations management and decision-making, you need to combine business data with process data or gather more details into a process summary report for certain conditions.

Why One Interface is Better than Multiple Query Tools

Manufacturing intelligence can be simplified by using a single source to show the “single truth.” One simple way to accomplish this single source is to provide a common link or most common denominator. This is often as easy as using a database such as Oracle or SQL Server to link multiple data sources together.

Engineered solutions can use SQL Server Reporting Services to report on data from SQL databases and Oracle databases, while providing drill-down capabilities into process data from a historian archive.

Such solutions can be extremely valuable. Not only does this save time, but it also increases the integrity of the reports and provides an increased return on investment (ROI) in many cases.

How Seeing Data from All Configured Data Sources Can Improve OEE Ratings

For many manufacturers, having collective information readily available can be instrumental for making production changes, resolving issues, or providing details for change initiatives. Manufacturing intelligence is a driving force in maximizing the overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) rating in any process. Having data integrity and consistency in the reports is paramount when using a solution that does not involve manually pairing up data from multiple sources or multiple users.

Database reporting solutions can communicate with other systems and provide a common

communication tool to other systems. Instead of having to use a query tool for this database, an external open database connectivity (ODBC) query for that database, and yet another trend report for process data, you can use one interface to see data from all configured data sources. A well-trained analyst can query the historian archives and then query the business system or some other database, all from the same interface. This speeds design and resolution time.

Starting with the big picture is usually the best approach. Understanding the flow of information, using documented data flow diagrams showing all data sources and data storage for the process, is the key to architecting a tightly integrated plant information system.

This diagram of all the data sources and information flow makes it is easy to see the mappings and connectivity necessary to get the proper data in the right context. A connected system provides for the single source of manufacturing intelligence information and ensures the integrity of the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), including OEE ratings.

Accurate, real-time OEE ratings give manufacturers the power to make informed decisions to keep operations running smoothly and efficiently. This level of concentric manufacturing intelligence enables you to make investments where needed to maximize returns in many cases. Having the “single truth” of data integrity also provides for powerful reporting and analysis to understand the “why” behind manufacturing operations.

Matrix Technologies is one of the largest independent process design, industrial automation engineering, and manufacturing operations management companies in North America. To learn more about our manufacturing operations management capabilities and manufacturing intelligence solutions, contact John Lee, Department Manager, Manufacturing Systems and Solutions, (419) 897-7200, ext. 488.

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