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Single Minute Exchange of Die

Single Minute Exchange of Die (SMED),  or Fast Changeover, is as the name suggests the method by which equipment can be changed from one product to the next in the most effective way, and in the shortest possible time.

Single Minute Exchange of Die is an objective whereby all changeovers are completed in a single number of minutes (less than 10). S.M.E.D. is an integral part of T.P.M. (Total Productive Maintenance) where one of the six major losses is changeover.

Manufacturers often produce products in much longer runs than their customers actually require in order to achieve economies of scale, this is also known as producing in economic batch quantities. The economic batch quantity refers to the ratio between actual production time and changeover. Obviously the longer the production run in relation to the changeover time, the more efficient the process would appear.

The problems with large batch manufacture are:

  • Businesses are inflexible; it is uneconomic to change products over at short notice. 
  • Large amounts of stock, or work in progress are created, and have to be stored.
  • Stock can easily become damaged or obsolete. 
  • Large runs promote the problem of undetected defects.

The rationale behind SMED is that: if changeovers can be carried out in shorter times, then production runs can be reduced accordingly, reducing or eliminating all of the above problems. 
By implementing SMED organisations can manufacture products at times, and in quantities, much closer to what, and when, their customers require them.

The Lean Group have extensive experience helping clients implement SMED often the seemingly impossible is achieved, with typical changeover reduction activities resulting in a reduction in tool change times, of between 50 & 90%.

Satisfying customer demand from the manufacturing process rather than from stock has a significant impact on the levels of finished goods stock and its associated cost. Often warehouses previously required for the storage of stock can be redeployed for use in activities that actually add-value to the business rather than act as a drain.

Benefits of SMED Summary:

            • - Smaller Batch Sizes
            • - Increased Flexibility
            • - More Frequent Changeovers
            • - Reduced Inventory
            • - Reduction in Waste
            • - Reduction in Start-Up Losses
            • - Improved Equipment Utilisation
            • - Maximise the Return on Buildings