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Should You Implement Quick Changeover?

Should you implement quick changeover?The short answer is "Yes."There appear to be no downsides to the idea of quick changeover.The basic idea is to be able to get a factory to make the change from one product to the next in less than ten minutes, also known as the Single Minute Exchange of Die (SMED).There are more extreme types of quick changeover that companies can consider, but making drastic companywide changes may cause anxiety in employees.By starting with a less extreme version of the program, a company can ease its way into leanness.

Quick changeover uses multiple approaches towards streamlining the production of multiple products and the actual changeover of tools to be used in one production type versus another.Using the example of creating a clock, we can see where quick changeover makes a difference.The inside of a clock can remain basically the same.If a company is making different insides, it is making it more difficult to repair the clocks, but it is also losing time when the factory has to switch to the new insides.
It is this switching time that quick changeover looks to keep to a minimum.

In order to make a changeover, the entire line usually has to be shut down for however long it takes for the changeover to happen at the station where it takes the longest - that station is akin to making the chain only as strong as its weakest link.The changeover is only as fast as its slowest changeover.Every minute that a factory is waiting for the changeover to occur, it is losing money.Profit margins become smaller, and costs soar.

If all of the clocks that the factory makes are reworked to have the same insides, then the only changeover that needs to happen are at those stations that work on the clock casings.The insides are always going to be ready with no need to change tools.For the outsides, the company can figure out how to repurpose tools so that they do not have to be changed as the different casings come down the line.If repurposing doesn't work, then the company will need to figure out how tools can be changed efficiently and what new tools can be found that will allow an efficient changeover.

Generally, it is car companies that may try to implement these quick changeover procedures because they are dealing with different models of vehicles.The insides might be similar, but not all engines will fit in all models.However, by keeping the specs the same for all lug nuts for example, the line does not have to change out or recalibrate the lug nut machine to accommodate different sizes.

Any company looking to make a change to get leaner and more efficient should choose an option that is right for the business.There are many different ways to become more efficient and quick changeover is just one of the options.SMED and its more extreme cousin One Touch Exchange of Die (OTED) are just a couple of options that have been tried in real world situations to create a more efficient process in the manufacturing realm of doing business.

Quick changeover is a type of lean manufacturing that allows companies to increase efficiency and make factories and manufacturing more efficient.Of course, while speed may be of the essence in quick changeover, safety for the employees of a company and for the consumers should never be compromised in a push to get efficient.Efficiency is never served by lack of quality or possible harm.

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