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Fundamentals of single minute exchange of die

crane34708284.jpg If you have been involved at all with business, especially with manufacturing, then you have probably heard of a number of different waste reduction strategies.One of the more popular waste reduction approaches to business is called SMED.SMED stands for Single-Minute exchange of Die.SMED is a theory and also a practical technique that works so that setup operations can be put together and performed in less than 10 minutes.In other words, setup operations should be able to be performed in a number of minutes that is only represented by a single digit: one minute to nine minutes.While SMED was first developed in the 1950s in Japan, it did not move to Europe in the 1970s (West Germany and Switzerland in 1974, and the United States in 1976).SMED was not really accepted in other countries outside Japan, however, until the 1980s.

There are a number of different components of SMED, or Single-Minute Exchange of Die, that work together in order to improve production and manufacturing processes, and in order to reduce waste.All of these ideas are associated with and compatible with lean manufacturing.

Let's begin by discussing lead time and how waste can be reduced in lead time.Lead time begins with design until the products and/or the services are delivered to the various customers.Lead time is composed of these following elements:

  • Product Development (or Product Design) Lead Time

  • Sourcing (or Purchasing) Lead Time

  • Manufacturing (or Production) Lead Time

  • Order Processing Lead Time

  • Distribution Lead Time

  • Other Lead Time, such as coordinating efforts and making decisions

Now, the Production Lead Time can be further subdivided into the components of the actual Production Lead Time:

  • Queue Time Before Processing Lead Time begins

  • Setup Time

  • Run (or Processing) Time

  • Waiting Time after Processing Lead Time

  • Move Time

Now, it is important to note that the only part of Production Lead Time that actually adds value to the products that are being produced is the run time.All of the other times that are part of Production Lead Time are considered to be a waste that have to be cut down and eliminated, if the latter is possible.

There are a number of different steps that can be taken so that the waste produced during the Production Lead Time can be reduced.Let's look at how different parts of the Production Lead Time can be more effectively run.

Setup Reduction can do the following:

  • the reduction of lot size

  • inventory can be reduced

  • a reduction in the cost of setup labor

  • an increase in the capacity of bottleneck equipment

  • an elimination of the scrap produced in setup

  • reduction of the potential for quality problems

Why is SMED valuable?Well, because your customers are really only willing to pay for about 5 percent to 10 percent of your company's overall activity in producing a product.So any amount of reduction that you can make in non value processes will save you money and will help your bottom line, since you are paying for all time and all materials that are spent in processes that don't add value.

SMED can reduce each and every one of the nine types of waste that are designated and categorized by lean manufacturing practices.These nine wastes are as follows: the waste of overproduction, the waste of inventory, the waste of waiting, the waste of transportation, the waste of motion, the waste of processing, the waste of defects, the waste or re-prioritization, and the waste of people skills.

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