How to boost your overall equipment effectiveness

Optimising overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) is the goal of electronics manufacturers, in fact every company, I am sure, in some way. But how can this be done? How can you boost your overall equipment effectiveness? 

What do we mean by the term “overall equipment effectiveness”?

The term “overall equipment effectiveness” (OEE) is a measure of the efficiency within each manufacturing operation or system.  This value is then compared to the full potential to gain an idea of how effective it is currently. Whilst the machine is operational, a value between 0-100% reveals the level of productivity.

Three key factors go into OEE:

  • Availability
  • Performance
  • Quality

To calculate OEE, the manufacturer must establish the actual time that the machine is in production and then subtract any planned downtime. What remains is defined as 100% of operating time.

How can igus® help boost your OEE

e-skin overall equipment effectiveness

igus® has specialised products which have been designed solely to ensure machines are not only suitable for the application but can boost productivity. Products such as the e-skin® energy chain.

igus® is providing support to manufacturers with these specialised cable guiding systems for cleanrooms.

Products like the e-skin® are ideal for the semiconductor industry for numerous reasons, reasons which we will discover later in the blog…

Tiny particles cause quality losses

Quality is one of the three pillars of OEE. It is calculated by subtracting rework and discarded parts from the total number of produced parts and dividing the result by the total number of produced parts. Parts are discarded during electronics manufacture when tiny particles settle onto sensitive products such as semiconductors, ultimately destroying them. The particles are scarcely visible to the naked eye, therefore, it is impossible to see if these particles do contaminate the machine. However, the impact if they do can result in scrappage and wasted production. This is where cable guides such as e-skin® single pods help reduce quality losses and increase OEE – with little financial investment.

The low-profile e-skin® is made of high-performance polymers that are optimised for low abrasion. This particular energy chain range was specifically designed to meet the requirements of the highest cleanroom class, ISO Class 14644-1. This means that the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology and Automation (IPA) confirms that during operation, a cubic metre of ambient air has no more than ten particles larger than 0.1 micrometre in that space (0.0001 millimetres).  This reassurance is the reason why the e-skin flat is chosen for so many cleanroom applications.

How does the e-skin® help with overall equipment effectiveness (OEE)?

e-skin® single pods can have a positive effect on another aspect of overall equipment effectiveness (OEE): availability of machines and systems. This is because the design reduces downtime.  Examples of this can be seen in many electronics manufacturers. These manufactures previously having used ribbon cables with stranded cores stranding in bundles, inseparably connected by two PTFE/PUR/PTFE films. If one core is defective, the operator must replace the entire system. This could result in long lead times and downtime – ribbon cables are usually customer-specific and cannot be delivered from stock.

With the e-skin® single pods, you do not have this limitation. The cables are not fused together but use individual profiles that can be opened with a zipper. A defective cable can therefore be replaced in a few minutes. Machine availability increases, and so does OEE. The e-skin® is also a stocked item in Germany so availability issues are not an immediate concern.

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e-skin® single pods also save the system operator installation space and energy. igus® has developed CFCLEAN as an alternative to classic cables. These stranding elements are fused together with a PTFE film for electrical protection. Since there is no outer jacket, weight is reduced by 21%. This reduces the drive energy needed and is advantageous in view of the constantly growing demands for higher acceleration values. The diameter is also 18% smaller, reducing space requirements. And space in cleanrooms is expensive.

Having a specially designed cable to combine with the e-skin® ensures the quality of performance is optimum and overall equipment effectiveness.

If you are in need of an OEE boost please contact the e-skin® specialist today!


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