SMED (Single-Minute Exchange of Die)

SMED (Single-Minute Exchange of Die)

Are you tired of spending hours setting up equipment and machinery in your manufacturing process? Is your changeover taking that much time that you are losing dramatic amounts of money?

The Japanese industrials that invented the method Total Productive Maintenance also invented a tool that might help you with the problem of slow changeovers: SMED, also known as Single Minute Exchange of Die, is a tool that eliminates waste and boosts productivity.

What is SMED?

SMED is a tool that reduces the time it takes to complete equipment changeovers drastically. It can be used as an addition while implementing the lean manufacturing philosophy TPM. Basically, SMED converts as many changeover steps as possible to ‘external’ which means that these steps can be done while the equipment is running, so that no time is wasted. The other tasks shall be simplified as radically as possible. The name of SMED explains the goal in a literal way. Single-Minute changeovers are the goal, which means that the changeover should be done in less than 10 minutes.

Before and after implementing SMED

What are the benefits of SMED?

  • Lower manufacturing cost: If the changeovers are faster, the downtime decreases which lowers the manufacturing cost.
  • Smaller lot sizes: With faster changeovers, it is possible to have more frequent product changes.
  • Improves responsiveness: As smaller lot sizes are viable, one is able to have a more flexible schedule.
  • Lower inventory levels: Small lot sizes result in low inventory levels.
  • Smooth startups: standardised changeover processes improve consistency
Downtimes decrease significantly with SMED

An implementation example of SMED:

To understand SMED it makes a lot of sense to walk through an example. Step by Step:

Before starting:

Before implementing SMED, it has to be a priority to understand where productive time is being lost. For that reason it is detrimental to have a system in place that collects and analyses manufacturing performance data. One of these systems could be our application Stryza.

The best way to measure manufacturing performance data is measuring OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) and analyse the Six Big Losses.

Step one: Identify your pilot area:

The ideal pilot are will have the following characteristics:

  • The duration has to be long enough, so that there is significant room to improve.
  • There is a variation in changeover times with different groups doing the same changeover.
  • There are many opportunities to do the changeover in a specified time.

To have a wide base of support for the project, it is important to include the full spectrum of employees in the selection process. Once there is a selected target, one has to record a baseline time for the changeover. While measuring the changeover time, it is detrimental to have the Hawthorne Effect in mind which basically states that changeover times will improve temporarily as a result of observing the process and putting a lot of attention to this one changeover.

Step two: Identify the elements:

All the elements of the changeover should be identified. This can be done with videotaping the entire changeover and then creating a list of elements that includes which work was performed and how long each task needed to be completed

There are some tips that you should observe:

  • Just observe and do not interfere with the process.
  • Have several people taking notes during the videotaping as this ensures that no information is missed
  • Capture things that humans are doing but it is also important to document everything that the machines are doing. It is to note that it is easier to optimise the things that the humans are doing.

Step three: Identify external elements:

External elements are elements that can be changed while everything is running. Just this step is able to cut the changeover time in half. For each element, one has to ask the question: ‘Can this element be completed while the equipment is running?’

Examples of external elements include:

  • Retrieval of parts
  • Inspection of parts
  • Cleaning
  • Quality checks of the last production

Step four: Convert internal elements to external ones:

In this step one has to ask the following question: ‘If there is a way to make this element external, what would we have to do?’ Every element has to be looked at individually and a cost/benefit analysis has to be done. Examples include:

  • Advanced preparation
  • The use of duplicate jigs
  • Modularise equipment
  • Modify equipment

Step five: Streamline the remaining elements:

Now it is the time to have a look at the remaining elements. For this, one has to simplify those, so that they are able to be done in less time. According to this base statement, one has to ask the following question: ‘How can this element be completed in less time?’ The following techniques should be used to achieve this:

  • Eliminate bolts
  • Eliminate adjustments
  • Eliminate motion
  • Eliminate waiting
  • Standardise hardware, so that less tools are needed

SMED & Stryza

With Stryza you have the perfect tool to implement SMED and streamline your manufacturing processes. With Stryza, you can connect all aspects of the manufacturing process, from design to production, and provide real-time data and insights to help your business identify bottlenecks and eliminate waste.

One way that Stryza helps to implement SMED is by providing manufacturers with digital work instructions. By digitising their standard operating procedures, manufacturers can easily update and share information with their workforce, reducing the risk of errors and delays during setup times. Stryza can also provide workers with step-by-step guidance and checklists to ensure that all tasks are completed efficiently and accurately.

Another way Stryza can help is by providing real-time data on equipment performance and downtime. By tracking the time spent on each task during setup and identifying any potential issues, companies can make informed decisions about process improvements and equipment maintenance.

In summary, Stryza can help businesses implement SMED by providing digital work instructions, real-time data on equipment performance and downtime, and a platform for continuous improvement. With these tools, businesses can streamline their manufacturing processes, reduce setup times, and become more efficient and productive.

Learn how you can easily improve your production

Book a free demo of our application and see how it can take your manufacturing operations to the next level.

stryza in action at customer 7stryza in action at customer 8