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How Efficient is Your Packaging Equipment?

OEE - Overall Equipment Effectiveness - ID Technology - Pro Mach

Introduction to OEE

Over the years there have been many methods used for measuring the efficiency of packaging equipment and complete packaging lines. Let’s face it, everyone wants to improve their processes and see where improvements can be made, but it isn’t always clear where to start.

This is where the concept of Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) comes into play. OEE is a systematic method of measuring the effectiveness of both individual packaging machines and complete lines.

OEE is by no means a new idea. It was introduced way back in the 1960’s as a means of determining how effectively a manufacturing process was being utilized. At ID Technology, our labeling, coding and marking systems are important parts of our customer’s packaging lines and we find that OEE is coming up in conversations more and more frequently.

OEE uses defined measurable factors to calculate the efficiency of the packaging (and a lot other processes too) process. In a perfect world, there would be zero unplanned downtime, equipment would happily run forever at maximum speed (using perfect packaging materials of course!) and it would be unknown for us to every produce product with even a hint of a defect.

Since we have to make do with operating in the real world, the OEE concept gives us an advantage when it comes to managing and improving our packaging processes.

In putting together this introduction to OEE, I’m hugely in debt to the great oee.com website which provided a lot of the ideas and data. That site is a super OEE resource and I encourage everyone with an interest in the topic to check it out.

OEE Factors

One of the key features of the OEE concept is its simplicity.  OEE is calculated using just three key factors, Availability, Performance and Quality:

Planned Production Time

This is the starting point for OEE. It is the total time available for production and does not include any planned downtime, such as breaks or PMs. The role of OEE is to help eliminate any factors that stop or reduce planned production. These factors are generally referred to as “losses” and include Downtime Loss, Speed Loss and Quality Loss.


Availability takes Downtime Loss in account. Downtime Loss includes all the issues that cause the equipment to stop for a measurable amount of time. This can include many items such as:

  • Equipment breakdown
  • Changeovers
  • Lack of materials

Operating Time is the remaining time after the Downtime Loss has been removed from Planned Production Time.

Availability is defined as the ratio of Operating Time to Planned Production Time.


The Performance factor takes Speed Loss into account. This includes factors that cause the equipment to run at less than i’s maximum speed.

Examples of Speed Loss factors include:

  • Low quality packaging materials
  • Poor equipment condition
  • Operator problems

After taking Speed Loss into account, what remains is Net Operating Time

Performance is defined as the ratio of Net Operating Time to Operating Time.


Quality takes into account Quality Loss. This accounts for items produced that fail to meet the required standard, including items that have to be reworked.

After taking Quality Loss into account, the remaining time is Fully Productive Time

Quality is the ratio of Fully Productive Time to Net Operating Time. dividing the number of good products by the total number of products gives the same ration and might be easier to calculate.

Calculating OEE

To calculate the OEE over a period of time is actually quite simple:

OEE = Availability x Performance x Quality

Let’s take a look at calculating OEE for a sample shift:

OEE - Sample Shift Info ID Technology


Planned Production Time = Total Time – Breaks
= 410 minutes
Operating Time = Planned Production Time – Downtime
= 380 minutes
Good Items = Total Items – Rejects
= 30395 – 1232
= 29163
Availability = Operating Time/Planned Production Time
= 380/410
= 0.927
Performance = (Total Pieces/Operating Time)/Machine Run Rate
= (30395/380)/100
= 0.8
Quality = Good Items/Total Items
= 29163/30395
= 0.96
OEE = Availability x Performance x Quality
= 0.927 x 0.8 x 0.96
= 0.712 (71.2%)

If my process was working with complete effectiveness, the OEE would be 100 – mine is closer to 70% and I can see that working on my machine’s Availability (why was there 30 minutes of unplanned downtime?) and Performance (clearly my machine was running at less than its optimum run rate during the shift)

By calculating OEE for equipment and lines over a period of time, areas of reduced effectiveness are highlighted so that improvements can be made. If you are just starting to implement OEE, a good place to start is with the piece of equipment that is the bottleneck on your line. What shows up as the factor that reduces the OEE the most? What can you change to improve it?

Pro Mach Remote Monitoring

Pro Mach Mobile Portal

Pro Mach Mobile Portal – OEE Data on your iPad

While the OEE factors can be calculated manually, this is also a process that can be automated. Here at Pro Mach we have developed a Remote Monitoring solution for our packaging equipment brands that allows a lot of production and equipment and production data to be captured in real-time from just about anywhere. This solution automatically captures the OEE factor data and calculates, displays and saves OEE results. This is a great solution for businesses operating in a lean manufacturing environment, providing actionable data to enable continuous improvement to packaging processes. OEE can be a Key Performance Indicator (KPI) in a continuous improvement system.

At the recent Pack Expo Show, Pro Mach demonstrated equipment from Fowler Products, Axon, Orion, Roberts PolyPro and Wexxar, all connected to a central real-time monitoring system.

The data was displayed on both conventional PCs and the new Pro Mach Mobile Portal, available in the Apple and Google App Stores.

ID Technology, along with the other Pro Mach companies, is dedicated to working with our customers to ensure their packaging processes run as effectively as possible

Want to get started with improving your packaging processes? Call ID Technology  toll free at: 888-438-3242 Option#3 or you can contact me directly at dholliday@idtechnology.com We’ll get you in touch with one of our ID Technology or Pro Mach specialists, right in your area.



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  1. My business is trying to improve the packaging of our products. Our process right now isn’t that bad, but there is definite room for growth. I will use your equation to see where our efficiency is at and look to get equipment to fix it!

  2. David Holliday says:

    Thanks, Bill. I hope it works out for you.

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