In this blog we explore the question of how to execute a software pilot with the OEE Toolkit. Imagine being on a quest to find the right OEE software to visualize your productivity losses. You’ve compared prices and features, you’re almost ready to make your decision, but you’re not quite 100% sure yet. There are a few ‘what-ifs’ ringing in your head. In this situation, we recommend running a test phase – an OEE software pilot – before heading towards large-scale adoption. But what to expect?


Implementing OEE in your Factory as a CI tool

Implementing OEE as a tool for Continuous Improvement (CI) requires a vision of the future state. To transform business processes, you need to define the business value for the OEE pilot as a part of the CI way of working. We recommend taking the time to do this properly, as it will:

  • Lay the foundations
  • Establish expectations with management
  • Improve the efficiency of your team
  • Eliminate process waste
  • and reduce the time it takes to benefit from your project


Future Vision of your Factory starts with an OEE Pilot Today

We want to emphasize that Continuous Improvement is not a project with a beginning and an end: it is a growth and learning mindset on how to run the factory as a team. The well-known “Plan, Do, Check, Act” cycle will be repeated many times over to reach the desired improvement outcomes.


What Does the Process of Implementing an OEE Software Pilot Look Like?

In essence, the process of an OEE software pilot implementation looks exactly the same as an implementation for 100+ lines. The only difference is the scale – here, you test on just one machine, with a limited timeframe of three months, and a focused effort in testing the OEE software. For the pilot to succeed, it’s paramount to choose a machine where success is guaranteed. FullFact will advise you on how to do this. After agreeing on the pilot objectives, as well as the scope and preconditions of the project, the next steps to implementing an OEE software pilot are as follows:


Initial Step: Form a Project Team

A successful pilot implementation requires an organization of business process owners, including key stakeholders such as Purchasing, IT, Team Leads, and Process Engineers. Together they determine the project scope, objectives, and measurements for the engagement and culture change. It’s key that all participants share the same focus areas for the project to move forward. And the involvement of IT is vital: a pilot may require infrastructure change and additional resources in time and investment.


Step 1: The Kick-Off and Plant Survey

A kick-off is planned to introduce the software system to the project team and the customer. During this meeting, we discuss the project and how we can learn from each other.


Step 2: Planning and Control

After the kick-off, FullFact will finalize the project plan and planning. At this point it will be made clear to both parties what needs to be done to implement the entire OEE system of FullFact, and who will be involved in the process.

Step 3: Workshops

Our specialized consultant will then facilitate a session in which the OEE Industry Standard will be explained to the customer’s project team. Here, the consultant will work with the team to get any information needed to fill in availability, performance, and quality losses before moving on to Step 4.


Step 4: Installation and Training

A FullFact engineer will prepare the database and configuration using the definition sheet as mentioned in Step 3. When the engineer arrives at your site, they will check that everything is in place to install the software. After the installation, there will be training on how to use the software. This is the start of data-collect.


Step 5: Analysis Workshop

After nine weeks, we expect the customer to have gathered enough information using the software to address their data. We’ll visit the site once more to check the data and advise on any optimization possibilities. This is also a chance to evaluate the project as a whole.

If you’d like more information on how to implement OEE effectively in your factory, you can download our OEE white paper here »


Experiences from OEE Pilot Customers

Plant Manager Remy de Kuyper from De Kuyper Royal Distillers and Process Optimizer Jan Tjoelker at Royal Fassin Sweets and Confectionery confirm it: running an OEE software pilot does give you the experience you need. The main reasons for stand-stills on the line are revealed, which means you can then set about making improvements.


Jan Tjoelker, Process Optimizer at Royal Fassin:

“In the first couple of weeks we were already able to see the reasons for stand-stills on the line. And also which products were causing the majority of these interruptions. Furthermore, we’ve noticed a difference in output between shifts, and have gathered valuable information about the mean time between repairs. This inside information provided by OEE Toolkit has helped us realize the first improvements for the shop floor at very short notice.”


Remy de Kuyper, Plant Manager at De Kuyper Royal shares his experience with the OEE pilot with us:

“We got in touch with OEE through the ERP system we use – there’s an OEE module in there. However, we noticed a number of limitations: we wanted to be able to zoom in on the actual reasons for downtime. But the system doesn’t lend itself to that. Making analyses was very cumbersome. This is why I started looking for an OEE solution.”

“The first step was to manually track OEE downtime with FullFact’s ManualCollect. After a few months we started working with RemoteCollect. That made a very big difference for us. Almost everything went automatically, and the measurements became so much more accurate. But that also meant our OEE is now many times lower than during the (erroneous) measurement of OEE in the ERP period.”

“Also, the reporting possibilities are endless, they give me insight into the possibilities for improvement, although it’s not always easy to choose which report to use. I would like to develop myself in reading reports and choosing the downtime reasons that lead to an increased performance of our OEE. I’m very happy with the insights and improved performance, and I’m very hopeful for what the future will bring!”


Conclusion on How to Run an OEE Software Pilot

For an OEE pilot to succeed, you need to start with your vision, and regard the OEE Toolkit pilot as a way to leverage Continuous Improvement processes.

It’s important to build a solid foundation with your project team, with clear objectives and assigned roles to guide the project. Then the pilot will give a realistic view of what the implementation of OEE software would be like on a larger scale. The experiences, OEE insights and improvements will help build a business case for how Overall Efficiency Effectiveness could transform your plant(s).

Last but not least, the pilot will unveil hidden losses. Though, of course, achieving operational excellence takes time, effort, and diligence. It’s not always easy, but it’s hugely rewarding to achieve increased productivity as a team.


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