Single Minute Exchange of Dies (SMED) is a methodology to improve changeover or setup time of machines and tools. The author believes that through the application of SMED on the basis of implementing Lean Manufacturing can reduce internal cost due to changeovers and produce good quality products at a lower cost. Recent study carried out by Jackson & Jones (1996) in implementing a lean management system emphasises that lean production systems can produce high quality goods at a low cost. It further stresses that Taiichi Ohno and Shigeo Shingo (co-creators of the Toyota Production System) managed to demonstrate that high quality does not necessarily demand high cost, thus, huge success of the Toyota Company and many other companies that adopted these methods bear testaments to their lean manufacturing principles.
Furthermore, many organisations have adopted Quick Changeover methods to assist in lean manufacturing initiatives. An inspiring video has presented the author with confidence that SMED systems can work in organisations to achieve reduction in setup . The programme explained methods adopted by selected companies to achieve quick changeover in moulding, machining and metal forming industries. The programmes proved that Wiremold Company was able to install mould carts and racks to make mould changes faster and safer, whereas, Associated Spring were able to use quick changeover as part of their lean manufacturing strategy to be more responsive to customer orders. On the other hand, Power & Sons managed to reduce drilling machine changeover by using tooling carts and air wrenches to eliminate wasted set-up time, whereas, Hitachi Automotive Products improved the changeover of CNC machines by pre-staging tooling and fixtures.
One of the main aims that were must be agreed during the planning phase of a SMED project is to achieve high machine utilisation. Monden (1998) stresses on machine utilisation through the application of SMED. Monden (1998) argues that the ratio of machine utilisation to its full capacity can be increased because of the reduced setup time. The minimisation of stocks, job order oriented production and prompt adaptability to demand changes are the most important advantages of a single setup.
In the SMED approach, internal activities are actions that require the machine to be stopped and external activities are action that can be performed while the machine is operating. An organisation is able to reduce considerable amount of setup time just by converting as much internal setup as possible to external setup. This statement is supported by Roemermann (1999) in which that with the practise of set-up reduction, an organisation at this stage would typically have reduced their setup times by 50% or more . This is further argued by Hewett (1999) that many organisations have actually ignored this action, as it is an obvious operation. that there are several pre-requisites that need to be in place before applying Shingo’s SMED methodology. Pre-requites identified in this case study was the need for teamwork approach to communication, visual factory control, performance measurement systems and Kaizen are vital for the success of SMED. In two separate case studies, Leschke (1997) describes that there are two ways the model of the setup reduction process can be incorporated. First is the training to provide employees with the perspective of the setup reduction process and second is the implementation with a logical investment sequence for the types of investments appropriate for the current stage reduction. Further to this, Leschke (1997) suggests that priorities can be set using a cost benefit analysis comparing work centres or machines.
- Jackson, T.L. & Jones, K.R. (1996), Implementing a Lean Management System, Portland, Productivity Press.
- Monden, Y. (1998), Toyota Production system; An Integrated Approach to Just-In-Time, 3rd Edition, Georgia, Engineering & Management Press.
- Shingo, S. (1988), Non-Stock Production, The Shingo System for Continuous Improvement, Cambridge, Productivity Press.
- Shingo, S. (1989), A Study of Toyota Production System, Portland, Oregon.
- Harrison A. (1992), Just-In-Time Manufacturing in Perspective, London, Prentice-Hall.
- Moxham, C. & Greatbanks, R. (2001), Prerequisites for The Implementation of The SMED Methodology: A Study In A Textile Processing Environment, International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, Vol. 18, No. 4, pp. 404-414.
- Leschke, J.P. (1997), The Setup Reduction Process: Part 1, Production and Inventory Management Journal, Vol. 38, Issue 1, pp. 32-37.
- Leschke, J.P. (1997), The Setup Reduction Process: Part 2 – Setting Reduction Priorities, Production and Inventory Management Journal, Vol. 38, Issue 1, pp. 32-37.
By: Dr. Satnam Singh, PhD (Managing Director MBizM Group)