SMED - Single Minute Exchange of Die

Martha looked at the schedule for this week's production, how was she going to pull this one off she thought. 18 production line changes! that's crazy but it's like I guess, we're going to spend more time changing over than we are running. Ok so there was 1 run that was a full day's production so they could win there, but that other run was only 3hrs, the set up was longer than the run! This was just crazy and now she had to sell this plan to the team as well, oh well back to the coalface!.
It sounds crazy right? unfortunately t's not as unusual as you would think. A great number of New Zealand companies are in the low volume high mix manufacturing sector so do live with this sort of issue. Some, better than others, some have to run extra overtime to keep up, one even bought a new production line to get round the issue!
So let's talk about a great LEAN tool you can apply and recover some of that lost production time, increase through put and return profit to the bottom line, interested?

SMED Explained

Being a LEAN technique the whole purpose of the SMED process is to eliminate waste, in this case, production downtime, excess movement and a few more but let's focus here. 

The aim is fairly simple, look at what you are doing and identify what things can happen while the machine is still producing, these are called External Operations, they can happen externally to the machine the more things you can do while the machine is producing the better, so that's Step 1.

Step 2, well there is something you just have to do while the machine is stopped, changing dies, tooling feeds that sort of things, these are called Internal Operations, the aim of step 2 is to identify what actions you can take to reduce the time it takes to do these internal operations.


If only you had experts to help you figure these things out, well that's the really great bit, you do! They are your employees, the team already working on the machines and the processes, they already know what to do. Ok so they may not know how to do it but they certainly know what things are stealing time and what things they would do differently if they were 'allowed'.

By far the best method of attacking this problem is with a team approach live on the floor walking, talking and even videotaping the process then, spending some time with the team just taking that video apart bit by bit, it can be a whole lot of fun.

If you have ever changed a tyre on a car, believe or not you've probably already applied the principles of SMED. If you have ever watched motor racing you have certainly seen it in action as they all change the wheels , fuel the cars, clean the screen and feed the driver all in under 10 seconds! Can you imagine getting a change like that done at your local service station?
Clearly the team has trained hard to get to this point but they started with a blank bit of paper and a list of tasks that need to be done, they certainly didn't say to the driver " can you do another lap.. we're not ready!"
It's the same with your production line, when it's ready you're ready!

How it Works

The steps are simple..


Define Your Business Goal

Decide what your goal is and then tell us what you need to achieve.


Agree The Outcomes

After asking some questions we'll give you a proposal based on our understanding of your needs.



Sign up and let us help you deliver your goals.

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We provide the energy and motivation within your organisation to keep things going until the solution is delivered.

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You can also call John on 0211649739 to set up a meeting 

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