SMED – Single Minute Exchange of Die

Hi Logistic Fans!

I´m sorry for not applying new information about Logistics to my Blog in the recent week. But I was out for semana santa. But now I am back looking forward to collaborate new Logistics Material!

The topic today is about a way to save time at the manufacturing part of the value chain in a company. A lot of time at a company´s production line is spend on the change of dies between two production lots. While dies have to be changed there are no goods produced, which means there is no output for the company! No output means no created value and as a result no profit.

To shorten the wasted not producing time, there is a method of lean production called SMED:  Single Minute Exchange of Die

SMED ≠ changing tools under 60 seconds

SMED = the time between the last produced good from lot A and the first produced good from lot B should be under 10 minutes (Single Minute = single minute dial like 1-9 minutes)

To meet this requirement, there are two different types for setup operations on a production machinery

Internal setup:  all work with changing a die that can only be done, if the machine is stopped in total.

External setup: all work that can be done, while the machine is still running to prepare the upcoming lot change. For example bringing the new die next to the machine and make additional tools and equipment available as fast as possible.

The aim should be converting all external setups to internal ones. So in the end the perfect SMED operation would only consist of internal setups.

Requirements & efforts of SMED

Besides capital to buy some useful tools for fastening the die exchange, it is necessary to have qualified working personal. The workers should not only be treated to do SMED but understand the meaning and the importance of it. Maybe the workers consider SMED as a method of rationalization and fear about their employment. But SMED helps to make the company successful and competitive! Therefore the employees profit from SMED as well.

Example:  Pit Stop

The Pit-Stops at Formula 1 Races can also be considered as a kind of SMED. The Pit Crew prepares the stop external as perfect as possible, before the race car comes to the box. The internal setup operation only takes a few seconds. After that the car is again ready to race.

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