In most cases, the reason why businesses start tracking machine downtime is simple: they’re trying to reduce the impact of what is currently a time-consuming, frustrating, and (most importantly) expensive problem as much as possible. But successful equipment downtime tracking isn’t about merely learning how often a problem occurs so you can react to it quickly. It’s understanding why that problem occurs so you can take proactive steps to avoid it whenever you can.
Indeed, it is that ability to turn insight into action that is the cornerstone of any successful effort to prevent these unfortunate, unexpected events – let alone to improve your OEE scores over time. That action will also require the support of organizational leaders in more ways than one.
Downtime Tracking: Understanding Your Data
Again, effective downtime tracking is about more than just confirmation that you have a problem. If you only knew when an unplanned downtime event started and stopped you would be tapping into but a fraction of the potential of this technology.
You need to know the product the line was working on at the time things went down. You need to know which shift or crew was involved. If there are any operator comments that were left in real-time, those need to rise to the top. Everything – from what was going on in the environment to any outstanding safety concerns – plays a crucial role in helping you get to the bottom of the matter.
Acting on That Data
It would be a mistake to take the insight derived from machine downtime tracking and essentially keep it for yourself, siloed off in the back office. Don’t use it to simply sit back and bark orders or delegate responsibility. Use it to find out what you support those around you.
Case in point: operators. At a bare minimum, they should be able to see this downtime information as well, visualized in the form of custom dashboards and key performance indicators. As the people who are actually on the front lines of your business, they will have opinions about what must be done. You need to support them by listening to their advice and giving them the resources, they need to resolve issues on their own terms.
Do they lack the human resources needed to keep things running efficiently? Have they been calling for a preventative maintenance program to be instituted and the data is just confirming that? Could it be that new hires lack the training or other educational support needed to work without issue? Some combination of the above?
Listen to what they’re telling you they need and confirm that everything is headed in the right direction using data.
If you’d like to find out more information about how improving OEE scores and reducing machine downtime involves supporting your production teams in more ways than one, or if you’d just like to learn more about what machine downtime tracking software can do for your business in more detail, please contact the team at Thrive today.