SMED Part 1 – 5S Will Improve Your Changeover Times

A commonly used lean tool/concept in manufacturing is Single Minute Exchange of Dies (SMED) or quick changeover.  By definition changeovers from one job to the next is waste.  It does not add any value to the product/service, nor is the customer willing to pay for it.  Since it is waste but necessary in many operations, the goal should be to be as quick and as efficient when changing over as possible.

Shigeo Shingo showed how getting changeovers done in just a few minutes can reduce the batch size that can be produced, which creates less inventory and increases the cash flow.  When achieved, a changeover that is done in less than 10 minutes will save a lot of money.  The ideal state is to get the changeover to instantaneous so no capacity is lost.

During my time I have seen what I call three levels of the SMED concept that can help depending on where you are with implementing quick changeovers or lean.  This is the first of three parts explaining the different levels I have seen.  I hope this will help others with their SMED efforts.

The most basic level of SMED I have seen is organization.  The lean tool/concept that comes to mind is 5S.  Knowing when to use 5S is the key.  If the area where the changeover occurs is not organized or operators and technicians spend a lot of time looking for the proper tools/parts for the changeover then 5S is a good tool/concept to pull out of the lean toolbox.  Operators shouldn’t leave the area to go look for the tools/parts that should have been in the area of the changeover.

Here are just a few ideas to get you started in thinking about how to use 5S to help reduce changeover time:

  • Have everything that is needed brought to the area and ready before the last good piece of the run comes off the machine (some of this may be brought to an area on an organized cart)
  • Have the tools/parts needed within reach of the physical location from where it will be used (no walking, even in the area, to get what is needed)
  • Think about organizing the tools in the order they will be used (this can also help make visual where someone is in the changeover process)
  • Be sure to have plenty of tools (you have a wrench but if it is being passed between two people why not buy a wrench for each person so they can work at the same time)

I have seen changeover times drop by 50+% just from implementing good 5S practices around changeover tools/parts.

Posted on November 8, 2010, in Tools, Waste and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. SMED technics are good for one part of the formula. The target of the company is minimizing total time spent in changeover. That is time spent in a single change (SMED) multiplied by the number of changes. The second part is related with production planning. There are software solutions that use mathematical algorithms that try to minimize changeover time (and other things such as average delays). Take a look to Grupo i68´s izaroaps Advance Planning & Scheduling Solution to know more about APS and their relation with Lean manufacturing.
    Izaro APS
    Grupo i68

  1. Pingback: SMED Part 3 – Reducing Trials « Beyond Lean

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