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OEE: Focus on Improvement, Not on What Is "World Class"
Overall Equipment Effectiveness is a hot topic these days and it's one area that drug manufacturers are achieving clear time and cost savings without too much effort. Setting OEE percentage targets and aiming to achieve world-class production levels can be a truly motivating exercise, as Teva's Duane Hiveley told me recently--see "Leveraging the Simplest KPI" about Hiveley's initial efforts with OEE in Irvine, California.
It's good to set goals. But Hiveley also reminded me that he is not going to get too hung up about how different production and packaging lines are performing against each other. Different lines have different equipment and challenges, and comparing them is a bit of apples vs. oranges. This sentiment is reiterated, quite vocally, by a recent thread, "OEE on Pharma Packaging Lines," on the Pharmaceutical Operational Excellence group on LinkedIn.com. (Apologies to those non-LinkedIn folks.) The POE group on LinkedIn is one of the more active and engaged communities you'll find (started by Parsec's Shaun Hendon--request an invite if you'd like to join), and this particular topic has generated more than 25 thoughtful responses so far on what OEE means in pharma packaging and what some general rules of thumb should be.
Whether you're running at 35% or 90%, there's still room for improvement.