Niacet Case Study
“A QUANTIFIED OVERVIEW MAKES BUILDING A BUSINESS CASE A LOT EASIER”
How Niacet used OEE to improve productivity results by 15%
OEE is a language
You can learn Spanish, Mandarin, Dutch and… OEE. Learning to speak OEE has many advantages.
You start your working day and everything seems normal. But then, a major standstill occurs. Your first reaction is to yell at the technical staff and say they should have replaced that one part of the machinery three weeks ago. The engineer, however, has been busy the last few weeks solving all other kinds of problems and feel frustrated and personally implicated by your remark. He, then, blames the night shift for not having handled the machine in a proper way. And it goes on and on. Sounds familiar?
By using OEE, ‘normal’ production problems are recorded in a report. And suddenly, there are calculations that can be discussed, instead of individual people. Speaking OEE helps relieve tensions and provides a common language that everybody speaks. The result is a team that solves problems together. And when that happens, everything is possible. At Niacet for example, they drastically reduced the time that one of their processes took, from 16 to 5 hours.
How to speak a common language
OEE provides a common language for everybody in the organization. The Production Manager at Niacet explains: “We share a common goal and OEE is the language that everybody speaks. Conversations are about the business, not about the performance of individuals. When the OEE score is great, we celebrate it together. We want to be world-class in all aspects. Also, we discuss our OEE results monthly with the management team. Furthermore, there is a three-monthly Board meeting. Our OEE reports give us the tool to make improvement proposals and investment proposals. It works because there is a commitment from the Board.”
“Year-on-year, the OEE rate of Niacet improves with 15%”
Results of using the OEE Toolkit
“To give you an example: with the OEE Toolkit we calculated that a changeover took us 16 hours. By investing in improving the CIP installation (the cleaning device), the cleaning time was reduced: it now takes us only 5 hours. Reducing that time was crucial because in the near future we will expand our product range.”
“In the last 4 to 5 years, our OEE score has increased by 15% on average. That led to better output at a lower cost. In the years to come, we aim to increase our production by 30%, and we use the OEE Toolkit to make detailed plans to be able to do so.”
“The OEE Toolkit confirms our gut feelings. A quantified overview makes building a business case a lot easier. OEE measures everything. Ranging from effectiveness and regular standstills for changeovers to process malfunctions and technical breakdowns. But the OEE score also shows other aspects of production, like safety. It is impossible to have a highly effective production and at the same time have a bad safety score. The OEE score also shows how people work together and their awareness of what they are doing.”
- OEE rate grows 15% year-on-year consistently
- OEE Toolkit confirms gut feelings
- Time reduction from 16 to 5 hours
“In short, OEE can help improve effectiveness, but it is still people who can really make the difference. The diversity of people makes my work interesting. I want to trigger our employees to get the best out of themselves. I believe everybody can excel when the circumstances are right.”
Niacet is a leading producer of organic salts, including propionates and acetates, serving the Pharmaceutical, Food, Feed, and Technical industries. With two longstanding and fully automated manufacturing sites, located in Niagara Falls, NY USA, and Tiel, in the Netherlands, Niacet offers world-class quality products to a global market. Their products fill vital needs in a broad range of applications that are essential to everyday life including food preservation, antibiotic formulation, dialysis treatment, energy production, and more.
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