my point of view and 20+ years of experience, this has been by far the most
productive and quick-results rendering tool of all the Toyota Production
or “Single Minute Exchange of Dies” created by Shigueo Shingo and his
group, and inspired by the car races’ pit-teams is a very applicable
strategy and the more we use it the more applications we will find for it.
will try to describe SMED here Step-By-Step. This information does not
substitute for a professional consulting-training service that may help you
implement in a shorter period of time and especially for the first project,
give you more effective results. It is convenient to make everyone aware
that in a SMED setup we will most of the time use the help of more
associates than in the traditional mode, but for periods of time that will
continuously get shorter, increasing machine uptime.
us get started…
important consideration in any Kaizen Event even for a minimal
improvement project, is taking pictures of the current condition. I
don’t know how many times I have used the “before and after”
pictures to make the motivation contagious to other associates even if
they did not participate in that particular project.
a strategic location for a video camera so you can take a timed video recording of the current setup procedure. Start recording at the
time of finishing the last piece of the previous run. Keep recording
until the first acceptable piece of the new run is completed. Measure
precisely the total machine downtime. If your video camera does not have
time recording, no problem, have a stop watch started and show it in
front of the camera once in a while.
we will bring together all the actors of the setup including the
operators of the equipment even if they did not intervene in the setup
process. The team must be comprised of the machine operator(s) and if
available, setup experts or maintenance technicians. Add to your team
a couple of outsiders. Some times administrative people can be of
we will explain to them
principles of SMED:
External operations of the Setup.
in the traditional Setup processes, all kinds of operations start
taking place only after the machine has stopped, and continue all the
way until they are finished, then the machine is re-started and
hopefully in the first few cycles the output is completely acceptable
and in compliance with specs. That is when the setup can be declared
is not acceptable in the Lean Manufacturing environment; therefore the
SMED process was developed. We all understand that there are a good
number of those operations that we could group as “Preparation”,
meaning they can be performed even while the machine is still working
on the ending run.
examples of these preparation operations:
i.Bringing all the tools and materials (rags, cleaner fluids, spatulas)
that we may need to perform the setup, close to the machine
ii.Having handy all new parts, components, dies, cutters, etc, that need
to be installed for the next run.
iii.Have all the team members who will intervene in the setup prepared
and made aware of which actions each one will perform. In some cases of
complex setups, a rehearsal is convenient. Even professional pit teams do
that before each and every race.
iv.Have the members of the team discuss and then write on flipchart
pages in detail and best possible order each of those preparation
operations, step by step. Use as many pages as needed. We want those to be
easily read from every seat in the classroom.
These preparation operations will be considered “External”, since they do not need for the machine to stop in order to be performed.
let us think of the operations that can and must be done only when the
machine is out of service.
i.Now have the team list all those operations in clear detail, step by
step, on one or more new flipchart pages.
ii.For now do not try to put any pressure to reduce times.
iii.These operations will be called “Internal”
we will go through the series of operations that can and should take place after the
machine is ready to run, these can be clean-up the area, putting back in
place the tools, parts, components that were removed. All these
operations will be grouped as “After-Setup” and are also
considered “External”, since the machine can be back in operation
with the new run while they are performed.
as in the two previous groups, have the team discuss and list in
flipcharts these operations.
sure they all are having fun as they do all of the above. Now, if
possible have some popcorn prepared to bring in for the next step:
of your video recording…
part of the workshop is critical as they all will be able to realize
how much time they could have saved in downtime, especially now that
they have learned about External and Internal Operations.
to prevent any criticism or bad comments against any individual. All
problems are due to the system, not the person.
the members decide how the next setup can be prepared and staged, if
needed make marks on the floor to decide where the tools, materials,
parts should be staged in advance to the new setup.
thing about the parts and tools being removed, they must find an
appropriate spot where to be put while the machine can get started.
c. and d. we have found appropriate to use carts. If heavy parts will
be handled make sure the cart is strong and stable enough to assure
safety for everyone.
this point we need to decide if some of the Internal Operations can be
simplified, coordinated to be done by more than one person, even
free to skip or Fast-Forward the video when no relevant observations
can be done.