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HOT TAKE | How Efficient LOTO Saves You $1.4M$ Annually

24 May 2024
Lockout Tagout Process

Hot Take on how LOTO can boost TEEP by 2% 

In case you’re not familiar with the concept of Total Effective Equipment Performance (TEEP): 

TEEP (Total Effective Equipment Performance) is a performance metric that provides insights as to the true capacity of your manufacturing operation. It takes into account both Equipment Losses (as measured by OEE) and Schedule Losses (as measured by Utilization). 

Scheduled Loss Gaps At-a-Glance

We can all agree that Lockout Tagout (LOTO), conducted in the context of maintenance, counts as “scheduled loss” since maintenance is considered within “Production, Not Scheduled” time. Our experience has shown that LOTO can boost TEEP by 2%. When looking at a typical maintenance scenario, here’s what happens:      

Downtime legend

There are clear gaps where literally nothing is happening. These gaps are usually the result of:  

  • Inaccessibility of Energy Control Procedures (ECP). 
  • Failure to communicate equipment availability. 
  • Bad planning.
  • Lack of material. 
  • Unavailability of resources. 

Although all of these problems can be tackled, experience shows that “failure to communicate equipment availability” is the biggest unwanted contributor of scheduled loss. 

In talking with an operations manager, he told us that they were losing roughly 1h/day of production, due to a lack of communication between the different teams involved in maintenance.

Here are the items of interest we identified when we started analyzing their situation: 

  • Operations did not communicate, that the machine was ramping down, to the team responsible or locking it out – so they were not instantly ready (+10 minutes).
  • The team that locked out the machine did not communicate to maintenance that they were starting which caught maintenance off guard when they told them the machine was ready for them (+10 minutes).
  • The team locking out the machine did not instantly communicate with maintenance that they were done (+10 minutes). 
  • Maintenance did not communicate their targeted completion time to the lockout team, which was caught off guard (+5 minutes). 
  • Maintenance did not instantly communicate the fact that they were done with their work to the lockout team (+ 10 minutes). 
  • The lockout team did not communicate their estimated completion time to operations, which were caught off guard (+5 minutes).
  • The lockout team did not instantly communicate that they were done to operations (+10 minutes).

So, circling back to TEEP, although there are definitely gains to be made in the OEE part of it as defined in this research paper, cutting down that 1h a day of “scheduled losses” by half, would increase the plant’s throughput by 2%.  At a production rate of 10,000$/hour, that’s 1,460,000$/year of additional production. 

It’s weird right?! We spend so much time making sure that maintenance and operations run like clockwork, so that we can squeeze out every single bit of production, but everything in between is loosely tracked. 

We’ve seen a lot of companies implement, with some degree of success, different strategies to try and eliminate this problem. Here’s what they are doing:  

  • Easy: Schedule daily cross-function meetings to align teams around the day’s schedule. 

  • Medium: Centralize communication through operations (they’re the ones that need to meet production targets). 

  • Hard: Merge maintenance and operations under a single function with clear TEEP objectives. 

The First Steps to Successfully Increase TEEP

A main problem you ultimately will experience is that all of these processes rely on a human doing their job systematically, which is rarely the case in the long run. The best systems we see track individual steps in the process and automatically communicate ETA and completion to the next stakeholder, avoiding lost production time.     

Did we miss something? We’ve seen a lot in our 35+ years of working to protect those in the Paper Industry. That said, we are open to any opportunity to gain another perspective – so, feel free to reach out and teach us something new. Your voice is one we want to hear!

Leo signs off on CONFORMiT Lockout Tagout Software


For 35 years, CONFORMiT has developed and marketed Cloud-Based Software-as-a-Service products to analyze and manage environmental, social, and governance (ESG) risks to support sustainability strategies. CONFORMiT’s simple and reliable solutions also promote companies’ and workers’ excellence in occupational health and safety management.

CONFORMiT enables its clients and their communities to provide a healthy and safe workplace while improving their productivity and profitability to build a more sustainable future.

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Written by Gabriel LeRoi