Survey Results: SoftServe’s Global Manufacturing Study Calls for OEE Automation

2023 State of Manufacturing Analytics report reveals critical gap in top manufacturing priorities

AUSTIN, Texas (August 28, 2023) – SoftServe, a premier IT consulting and digital services company, today announced the results of its 2023 State of Manufacturing Analytics study, which unintentionally revealed a clear gap in manufacturing priorities. Survey responses contradictory highlighted an industry need to prioritize overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) automation.

As a critical metric for measuring efficiency and productivity, OEE enables manufacturers to improve their bottom line through streamlined processes, reduced downtime, and increased throughput. The goal of the survey was to understand how manufacturers collect and use data to improve production on the factory floor. Instead, findings revealed 0% of manufacturers are prioritizing OEE automation, even though the top priorities identified in the study would be more attainable through automating OEE processes.

The top priorities manufacturers ranked include:

  • No. 1: Physically upgrading manufacturing technology to connect with IT infrastructure (51%)
  • No. 2: Becoming more cost- and resource-efficient (49%)
  • No. 3: Optimizing energy management (48%)
  • No. 4: Optimizing equipment performance (47%)
  • No. 5: Minimizing unsold inventory tied with training staff and developing expertise across both IT and OT (43%)

“The results were quite unexpected and ironic – no one even considered OEE automation as an organizational manufacturing priority, yet one glance at the top five priorities make a compelling argument for improving OEE automation measures immediately,” said Guy Merritt, SoftServe’s VP of Solutions & Consulting.

Conversely, nearly half of respondents understand the main uses of OEE data are to improve productivity (54%) and identify quality issues (42%), but only 4 in 10 reported having strong OEE measurement capabilities. Further, manufacturers with weak OEE data collection are rarely using digital twin technology, threatening product optimization, predictive equipment maintenance, and quality assurance capabilities in the future.

“Embracing OEE automation will have transformative effects that lead to more improvements, efficiencies, and impactful results across factory floors,” Merrit said. “Even small amounts of automation can provide unprecedented benefits for productivity and operational management. Our study is a clear indication that manufacturers need to revisit their priorities – and make sure OEE automation at the top of the list.”

The survey comprised 413 responses from director-level or higher personnel across U.S. and European manufacturing companies with more than 500 employees or revenues exceeding $250 million.

To learn more about SoftServe’s survey and OEE automation offerings, download the full ebook and check out these three steps to get started.

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