OEE and Product Inspection Equipment in Pharma

Focusing on Overall Equipment Effectiveness helps improve process efficiency

Calculating the Overall Equipment Effectiveness is an important tool for manufacturers who wish to find ways to improve their own production processes. Using OEE calculations, manufacturers can identify areas for improvement or bottlenecks. In the pharmaceutical industry in particular, there are unique challenges to maximizing OEE caused by regulations in place to ensure consumer safety.

While consumer safety is an obvious priority for pharmaceutical manufacturers, production also has to live up to an ever-increasing demand for more products, delivered more quickly. This can feel like a high-wire balancing act, as manufacturers try to increase the efficiency of their production process without cutting corners that would place consumers in danger. The situation is far from hopeless, of course: there are a variety of ways in which a production process can be improved - new equipment, better reporting, or even a shift in the layout of the production line itself can all contribute to higher efficiency. Measuring that efficiency is the role of an OEE calculation.

In this white paper, the following topics are covered:

- The definition of OEE

- The way in which OEE is calculated

- Challenges specific to the pharmaceutical industry that influence OEE

- Why the need for improved reporting exists

One of the major uses of OEE is to define the way in which a change to a production process influences that process. OEE gives a high-level view of process efficiency, giving manufacturers a holistic view. Calculating OEE can be greatly simplified through the use of real-time process monitoring, making shifts in OEE easier to spot. For example, the effect of upgrading equipment (or adding a new step to the production process) has an effect on OEE, and with real-time monitoring that effect can be calculated almost as soon as production starts up again.