SMED (Single Minute Exchange of Die)

11 04 2010

I would like to present an introduction about the SMED rules, which I consider them very easy to apply and which could give very important reuslts on manufacturing enviroments.

SMED is the Lean tool used to very quickly change machines or processes over from producing a specific part number or product to producing a different part number or product or changing an attribute(s) of the current part number or product. SMED processes are highly choreographed and rehearsed to minimize machine downtime.

Single Minute Exchange of Die (SMED), or Fast Changeover, is as the name suggests the method by which equipment can be changed from one product to the next in the most effective way, and in the shortest possible time.

Single Minute Exchange of Die is an objective whereby all changeovers are completed in a single number of minutes (less than 10). S.M.E.D. is an integral part of T.P.M. (Total Productive Maintenance) where one of the six major losses is changeover.

Manufacturers often produce products in much longer runs than their customers actually require in order to achieve economies of scale, this is also known as producing in economic batch quantities. The economic batch quantity refers to the ratio between actual production time and changeover. Obviously the longer the production run in relation to the changeover time, the more efficient the process would appear.

The problems with large batch manufacture are:

  • Businesses are inflexible; it is uneconomic to change products over at short notice.
  • Large amounts of stock, or work in progress are created, and have to be stored.
  • Stock can easily become damaged or obsolete.
  • Large runs promote the problem of undetected defects.

The rationale behind SMED is that: if changeovers can be carried out in shorter times, then production runs can be reduced accordingly, reducing or eliminating all of the above problems.
By implementing SMED organisations can manufacture products at times, and in quantities, much closer to what, and when, their customers require them.

The Kaizen Institute have extensive experience helping clients implement SMED often the seemingly impossible is achieved, with typical changeover reduction activities resulting in a reduction in tool change times, of between 50 & 90%.

Benefits of Changeover Reduction

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