These modern times of rapidly increasing diversity and smaller batch sizes, setup time reduction is of crucial importance for the profitability of many companies. For example, bottling industries sometimes spend more than 20% of their planned production time on changeovers. Fortunately, these setup and changeover times can be reduced significantly when the SMED system is applied. The SMED system has a proven track record in many types of industries.
Single Minute Exchange of Dies (SMED) is the approach to reduce output and quality losses due to changeovers. The method has been developed in Japan by Shigeo Shingo, and has proven its effectiveness in many companies by reducing changeover times from hours to minutes. Analysing the changeover process, combined with a stronger sense of teamwork and ownership lead to significant reductions in setup and changeover times.
The process consists of the following 4 phases:
1. mixed phase
2. separated phase
3. transferred phase
4. improved phase
The method's strength is the systematic approach to analyse what is actually done and how time is spent during the changeover activity. Through the analysis, a better understanding is gained on how to do certain activities, when the line is running. Also it is determined, what can be done to reduce the "fine tuning" activities after the actual changeover.
Changeover losses is one of the 6 big losses that have been defined within the TPM method.