Fast serial tool changeover thanks to visual management tools
SMED - Fast serial tool changeover: Single Minute Exchange of Die
THE SMED GOAL:This is a method of working that sets out to reduce changeover time on production runs. The main people involved in the process are asked to participate in an exercise whereby tooling must be set up according to a precise specification.
One goal: “total productivity”
Better organization first, then more simplicity.
Motivation first, then ongoing motivation.
- - The participants discover opportunities for improvement and learn the virtues of analysing how a process is organized.
- The payback is plain to see and visible right from the first project, with no substantial outlay.
- The use of the machine resource is optimized, with
* increased capacity (therefore lower unit cost)
* more flexibility in responding to customers' needs
* the effectiveness of visible, motivating actions
The objective is to reduce changeover time on production runs to a quantifiable objective.
4 steps are needed to achieve this:
- - Eliminate operations that serve no real purpose; convert stopped machines to running machines (forward preparation of ancillary gear). - Simplify flanges and fastenings (e.g., quick-fit couplings). - Put several people on the job (like a formula 1 pit stop). - Simplify adjustments and trial runs and reduce the number of tasks while the machine is stopped (e.g., settings sheets).
Some common obstacles are encountered when implementing the SMED method in practise:
- - The belief that rapid changeover is best solved technically When the company system starts seeing excessive production changeover times, the problem is most often posed to the technical staff, who is asked to implement a machine-specific technology for reducing the time.
- - “Electric trains”
One such example is “electric trains” which are very high performance machines as regards throughput but are highly complex, similarly to certain transfer machines.
- - The idea that job changeovers are not repeatable operations
- - Badly defined objectives
- - Too much specialization
All these issues suggest that a SMED project cannot be implemented except in a framework of high motivation among the staff.
The corporate project, clearly indicating the axes along which work will be directed, must be common knowledge among the whole of the workforce. Numerous company functions are involved: planning, purchasing, tooling, production engineering, design, sales, stores, etc.