As we enter the era of Industry 4.0, one of the areas that have gained the most important has been quality, whether in services or products. In this article, the specific focus is on aspects related to products and their production processes. With much variety, quality has become a method of differentiation between suppliers and brands themselves in the case of the final customer.
Hence, it is essential to have systems that ensure the best conditions to offer the best possible product at the end of the production line. For this reason, there are several key indicators to consider during the production process, also known as Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Some of these KPIs indicate the line’s conformity and production capacity, and others are based more on the concept that adequate maintenance can guarantee greater production efficiency.
Therefore, five of the indicators gaining more preponderance are Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE), Process Capacity (Cp), Process Capacity Index (Cpk), Mean Time to Repair (MTTR), Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF), and Number of Non-Conforming Products that reach the end of the process.
Concerning process quality variables, OEE, Cp, and Cpk are the ones that best estimate the company’s productive capacity.
OEE provides an accurate picture of the effectiveness of the production process. This KPI considers several variables within the production process. Those variables are the time a machine is available, the process performance, and the quality of the products at the end of the production line. The higher the percentage value of the OEE, the greater the production effectiveness.
Cp and Cpk
The study of the ability of the process to produce conforming products in a given period is indicated by Cp and Cpk. Thus, these KPIs make it possible to verify if the process needs to be changed or improved to fit within the intended specifications for the product. These KPIs may indicate which process areas require some intervention and improvement, such as maintenance, to deliver compliant products.
Concerning variables that assess the need for process maintenance to ensure a better quality of products delivered to the customer, MTTR and MTBF are a great help.
MTTR and MTBF
Both the MTTR and the MTBF are KPIs that indicate the operating status of equipment on a production line. Both provide information on the need for intervention by maintenance teams, with the MTTR being an indicator for corrective system maintenance measures. At the same time, the MTBF is considered an indicator used for more proactive measures to prevent failures.
The last KPI, Number of Non-Conforming Products, presents accurate information about the defective products reaching the end of the production line. As expected, the lower this number, the more efficient the line is in producing compliant products and repairing non-compliant products.
These KPIs are some of the indicators that factories of the future take into account to ensure they deliver the best possible products to the market.
As you can see, information is a fundamental aspect of guaranteeing the production process’s quality and consequently delivering exceptional quality products.