Single Minute Exchange of Die

Stand Alone Workshops

Reduce Your Set Up Times
and Gain Productivity


Are Change Overs Stealing your Capacity?

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!

Ready To Start Your Lean Journey?

Make a booking now and find out how we can help you Make Things, Better

Ready To Start Your Lean Journey?

Make a booking now and find out how we can help you Make Things, Better

People Development

Unlocking Growth and
Developing Your People


Working side by side with your leadership team and the shop floor alike our focus is to help you unlock the local knowledge already at your fingertips to help you transform how you do business. We will intentionally challenge your way of working and your status who to help you push your boundaries and grow your people, positioning you for stronger, sustained growth with a new lean mindset.
Our coaching approach is aimed at teaching you to do and to think for yourselves. We look to help build your leaders lean skills and look for them to train their team to embed that training.


Understand the Direction
Understand the Gap
Understand the Challenges
Map the Steps
Communicate the Steps


Carry out the Coaching
Agree Ownership
Agree time frames
Implement Actions


Check the outcomes
Check new gaps
Assess the success
Identify the improvements


Review the changes
Implement any improvements
Document the processes

Ready To Start Your Lean Journey?

Make a booking now and find out how we can help you Make Things, Better

Ready To Start Your Lean Journey?

Make a booking now and find out how we can help you Make Things, Better

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

To Get Regular Updates on ISO | Lean | Free Resources
Sorry we need your name
Invalid Input - Sorry we need your last name here
Sorry Can you just check your email address as well
Invalid Input

Latest Blog Post

Trees That Count
memeber of New Zealand Institute of Directors