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12. How to measure OEE for Installations with parallel transformation stations?

Q: Our machine has multiple parallel transformation stations… (See picture). how do I proceed?

parallel transformation

Arno Koch •   Some machines have one (or more) input-line(s). The Installation has more than one parallel transformation stations. The finished products leave the system through one (or more) output-line(s).


  • Barrel Filler (Beer)
  • Foaming Installation (Refrigerators)

There are several possibilities for defining the OEE measurement:

  1. The multiple workstations will be measured as a “Black-box”. Idling time and Failures of stations will be shown in Performance Rate (Minor Stoppages).
  2. Each station will be measured separately.
  3. Collecting running time of each workstation separately.

The first option is preferred, because of several benefits:

  • Takes fewer registration time than the other options.
  • Registration is easy to start.
  • Shows sufficient information for improvement teams.

The consequence of this is that several losses of the separate stations will be reflected in a lower performance rate. If that is the case then you will have to go into that with a focused improvement team or set up a detailed registration of the separate sations. Be aware that the amount of effort stays in relation to the expected insight.

When Minor stoppages are the biggest loss..

If the Minor Stoppages are the largest OEE loss, it will require a temporary detailed time registration of the time losses of each workstation. An improvement team can measure the detailed information during 1 or 2 shifts. The downtime reasons will be recorded very detailed. The improvement team will look for root causes, based on their knowledge and experience. During the improvement the OEE (and especially the Minor Stoppages) will be followed very accurate. After the improvement the Minor Stoppages shouldn’t be the largest loss anymore.

An alternative approach would be to measure óne transformation station and see this as a representative for the others. If this one has a lot of failures, it would be very strange if the others haven’t…

The rule of thumb is: OEE should give focus and direction for improvement

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