SMED (Single-Minute Exchange of Dies) is a system for dramatically reducing the time it takes to complete equipment changeovers. The essence of the SMED system is to convert as many changeover steps as possible to “external” (performed while the equipment is running), and to simplify and streamline the remaining steps. The name Single-Minute Exchange of Dies comes from the goal of reducing changeover times to “single” digits (i.e. less than 10 minutes).
A successful SMED program provides the following benefits to organizations:
SMED was developed by Shigeo Shingo, a Japanese industrial engineer who was extraordinarily successful helping companies reduce their changeover time. His pioneering work led to documented reductions in changeover time averaging 94% (e.g. from 90 minutes to less than 5 minutes) across a wide range of companies.
In SMED, changeovers are made up of steps that are termed “elements” which are of two types, namely:
SMED process focuses on making as many elements as possible external, simplifying and streamlining all the elements.
Virtually any manufacturing company that performs changeovers can benefit from SMED. That does not mean, however, that SMED should be the first priority. In the real world, companies have finite resources, and those resources should be directed to where they will generate the best return.
So what should be the first priority? For most companies, the first priority should be ensuring that there is a clear understanding of where productive time is being lost, and that decisions on improvement initiatives are made based on hard data. That means putting a system in place to collect and analyze manufacturing performance data.
The de facto “gold” standard for manufacturing performance data is measuring OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) with an additional breakdown of OEE loss categories into the Six Big Losses and a detailed breakdown of OEE Availability losses into Downtime Reason Codes (including codes for tracking changeover time).
Once a system for measuring manufacturing performance is in place collect data for at least two weeks to gain a clear picture of where productive time is being lost.
Adebayo is a thought leader in continuous process improvement and manufacturing excellence. He is a Certified Six Sigma Master Black Belt (CSSMBB) Professional and Management Systems Lead Auditor (ISO 9001, 45001, ISO 22000/FSSC 22000 etc.) with strong experience leading various continuous improvement initiative in top manufacturing organizations.
You can reach him here.