Tauber team makes an OEE impact at Beyond Meat

The Tauber team spent four weeks solely improving the availability and performance of this specific machine on one of the manufacturing lines of Beyond Meat. Ultimately, we were able to improve the overall equipment effectiveness by approximately 10%, which results in more than 1,000 pounds of additional product per day.

Ann Arbor, MI - When they began their 14-week assignment for Tauber team project sponsor Beyond Meat, the business + engineering Tauber student team of Gilbert Pasquale (MBA '22) and Channing Wan (EGL BSE/MSE-IOE '22) had no idea that their efforts to improve maintenance on just one machine would yield such impressive results.

While measuring Operational Equipment Effectiveness (OEE), the team identified a specific machine on the plant floor that had significantly lower availability and performance. So the Tauber team focused their efforts to maximize their impact. Pasquale and Wan organized an Autonomous Maintenance Event and included the machine’s manufacturer, facility management, the maintenance team, and the production team to develop an improvement plan that prevents costly breakdowns. 

Tauber team member Gilbert Pasquale on site at Beyond Meat

“In our improvement plan, the OEM technician spent considerable time training the various plant personnel that interacted with the machinery,” Pasquale said. “We also compiled training materials and maintenance manuals so that when the machine inevitably causes problems in the future, the plant personnel can better respond to it.” The team provided documentation and standard operating procedures to improve the performance of the machine and ultimately increase the output of the line. They also recommended strategies to improve OEE, including rotating operator breaks and adding a pull system between two process steps. With these improvements, Beyond Meat can expect $3.3 million in savings and 35 million pounds of additional product produced over the next three years.

Read more about the 2021 Tauber Team Project for Beyond Meat >

Each summer, business + engineering Tauber student teams uncover significant savings for sponsors – and champion major improvements in project fields such as data analytics, sustainability in operations, supply chain, and strategy. The 2021 Tauber team projects resulted in a record-setting $989 million in savings according to sponsoring company calculations, an average of $43 million per project over three years.

Put Tauber Institute thinking to work for your business!

The Tauber Institute for Global Operations is a joint venture between the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business and Michigan Engineering, working together with industry partners to facilitate cross-disciplinary education in global operations management. The Tauber Institute is an inaugural recipient of the UPS George D. Smith Prize for effective and innovative preparation of students to be good practitioners of operations research, management science, or analytics. For more information visit tauber.umich.edu.