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Case Study Lean Production: Increasing Overall Equipment Effectiveness

Lean-Starterpaket 2022

Project period: May 2016 – February 2017

Manufacturing of electrical components, Switzerland

Number of Consultants involved: 2

Initial situation and goals of the project

A business that manufactures electronic components with several plants and machines was faced with the decision of having to buy a new production plant due current insufficient capacity. At the same time, employees of the company were trained by an external Lean Consultancy to determine the Overall Equipment Effectiveness. The company was not aware of this until then.


In order to provide the employees with an immediate eureka effect, an OEE measuring device was installed at one installation in a very short time and the employees were trained in its simple operation using a touchscreen. After about four weeks, a workshop was conducted, in which the OEE could be discussed for the first time with the employees in the company, using the now available measured values. The calculated utilizable value of the equipment was 80 %. Since this number was unknown up to this point, no possible increase in machine utilisation could be incorporated into capacity planning.

The result of the first four weeks of recorded data was alarming as the OEE was just about 50 %.

Quite frankly spoken this meant that the equipment only produced 50 % of its operational time products that could be sold to the customer. A murmuring spread amongst the participants of the workshop. The credibility of the results was questioned.

As a next step a Pareto Analysis was carried out using the OEE measurement device, which showed the lost times: 30 % setup times, 15% disruptions, 5 % break times and other losses were the result. Based on the planning and the observations of a setup process on-site, the workshop finally confirmed the credibility of the measured values.


The OEE measurement on its own would not have been effective from Lean Consultancy point of view as an improvement in these values is an imperative part of the process. In setup workshops and workshops on reduction of disruptions through newly structured processes and break times, the OEE was increased to just under 80%. The planned investment for new equipment was renounced. The results in numbers:

  • Reduction of setup times by 78%
  • Reduction of inventories by 50%
  • Increase of OEE by 30%
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