In order to manage short lead times of order fulfillment, meet cost targets, handle the pressure on budgets, and the demands to quality, the right priorities must be set. But where to start and what to do? This blog series is about the fundamentals of OEE. We will answer the 10 most important questions around the subject of OEE and give an insight into the possibilities it offers.

10 things everybody should know about OEE
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Question number 4:

4. What are the Six Big Losses?

In the ideal situation, machines always run when we need them to, at maximum speed, and produce good quality products. However, this is often not the case. To come as close to perfect as possible, it is necessary to make losses visible.

Losses can be categorized as
availability, speed, and quality losses

There are Six Big Losses in TPM and OEE:

Availability losses

  1. Breakdowns
    Also called a technical error – causes the loss of production time.
  2. Waiting
    Including line restraints. Waiting occurs for example while the machine is being changed over. A line restraint is a form of waiting due to a standstill somewhere else in the production line.

Speed losses

  1. Reduced speed
    The difference between the actual speed and the theoretical speed. Often the operator will deliberately run the equipment on a lower speed in order to prevent (quality) problems. This is often underestimated.
  2. Minor stoppages
    These are short interruptions caused by small problems, like products blocking sensors. These kinds of stoppages usually take less than 5 minutes.

Quality losses

  1. Scrap
    Products that do not meet the quality specifications and must be scrapped.
  2. Rework
    Products that do not meet the quality specifications either, but that can be reprocessed into good quality products. It is still considered a loss because the product was not good the first time. First time right is the goal.

Some also distinct ‘sub-spec’: the product does not meet its intended specifications, but it can be sold on a different market or as a different product. For example, you want to make alcohol 80%, but you produce 70%. This is still fine alcohol, yet not the intended quality.


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