Part 5 – Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE)
Product inspection equipment is a substantial investment that is essential to your company’s success. In fact, your company’s future depends on producing a safe, consistent high-quality product that consumers can rely on. But how can you be sure you are getting the most value for your money when it comes to food inspection? In part five of this blog series, “5 Reasons to Invest in X-ray Inspection for Quality Assurance“, we explore how to calculate Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) and explain how x-ray systems fit into this equation.
You want value for money…Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE)
Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) quantifies how well a manufacturing unit performs relative to its designed capacity, during the periods when it’s scheduled to run.
To ensure that your cost base is optimized and delivering bottom-line benefits, it’s important to measure the OEE of all manufacturing equipment. OEE is calculated by three components – availability, performance and quality, all of which should be targeted for improvement.
- The availability percentage is based on the measurement of uptime. X-ray technology performs in-line product inspection at high throughput speeds and if substandard products are detected, it will reject these with zero interruption to the production line. In addition, x-ray inspection machines are now designed to facilitate quick, effective cleaning schedules without the need to be fully dismantled, further improving production uptime.
- Performance is measured on the speed of the technology. Advanced x-ray machines can be automatically programmed to inspect a wide range of products, complementing product changeovers, and ensuring that no time is wasted. In addition, regular remote testing of the machine will ensure that detection frequency levels are fully optimized, at all times.
- Quality is based on the percentage of loss due to substandard products and their ability to be reworked. A HACCP audit will help you identify where on the line you should integrate your x-ray machine. For example, inspecting product early on in the manufacturing process, before additional products and further value is added, can benefit some manufacturers.
Normally, a contaminant detection system will not earn a food manufacturer or packager revenue or return on investment at the same level as a filling machine or a checkweigher.
However (as touched on in section 4), x-ray systems are more than just contamination detection systems. Machines can help to boost OEE by performing the following additional (and simultaneous) in-line quality control checks:
- Measuring mass
- Counting components
- Identifying missing or broken products
- Monitoring fill levels
- Measuring head space
- Inspecting seal integrity
- Checking for damaged product and packaging
For more information, please download our white paper, X-ray: More Than Foreign Body Detection.