Quick Changeover (SMED) - Why, What and How

focused improvement lean lean six sigma methodologies supply chain management Nov 09, 2023

Quick Changeover (SMED) - Why and What


  • SMED Overview:

    • Single Minute Exchange of Die (SMED) is a methodology designed to reduce changeover times in manufacturing.
    • The purpose of SMED is to enable the production of low volumes and high product diversity, aligning with lean principles.
    • The goal of SMED is to limit changeover times to less than 10 minutes or within a single-digit minute range.
  • Development and Origin:
    • SMED was developed by Mr. Shigeo Shingo in Japan over a 10-year period, fully crystallizing in 1969.
    • Shingo's breakthrough came when he realized changeover procedures have internal tasks (machine downtime) and external tasks (machine running).
    • The methodology was successfully applied at a Toyota Factory, reducing a 1,000-ton press changeover from four hours to three minutes.
  • Key SMED Techniques:

    • SMED involves critically analyzing setup procedures, separating and streamlining changeover tasks, and physically altering machinery.
    • Tasks are categorized as internal or external to machine downtime, then grouped and streamlined accordingly.
  • Physical and Mental Transformation:

    • Implementation of SMED requires both physical and mental transformations in the workplace.
    • Physical changes involve altering and reorganizing machinery/tools, utilizing quick connection devices, and optimizing tool locations.
    • The mental aspect entails involving all workers in the process, valuing their input to identify improvements in changeover times.
  • Benefits and Integration with Lean:

    • SMED is considered a gateway to implementing lean and just-in-time production.
    • Quick changeovers facilitated by SMED enable flexible operations, allowing for the production of a wide range of products in response to customer demand.



6 steps to do Quick Changeover kaizen events:

  1. Start with 5S, making some foundational improvements before starting with Quick Changeover
  2. Observe the Changeover process and classify each step into a) External or b) Internal. Best way is using a video and a kaizen event with a team, as you complete the next steps.
  3. Try to move all internal activities to external activities (or eliminate some)
  4. Reduce the time of internal activities
  5. Reduce the time of external activities
  6. Repeat steps above a few times during the kaizen event or in multiple kaizen events.



Course Forward:

  • Would you like to be proficient at leading your own Quick Changeover kaizen event? 
  • Check out our Kaizen Leader course and coaching program in multiple languages! 
  • We use a SMED Simulation to practice leading a kaizen event, even if it's your first time!
  • Tom Mentink shares this link with you:  https://www.beltcourse.com/a/2147833560/6eADKB6z





How to Implement Quick Changeover (SMED)


OTHER SOURCES BELOW LOOKING FOR A BETTER VIDEO THAT REPLACES THEM:  (great content but poor quality/delivery) 




Lean Manufacturing, Quick Changeover Tutorial (S.M.E.D)

Benefits of Quick Changeover: 4. The benefits of quick changeover are discussed, including the reduction of lead time by addressing the eight forms of waste, such as overproduction. The emphasis is on enhancing flexibility and responsiveness to customer needs.

Implementation Steps for Quick Changeover: 5. The implementation process is detailed, advocating for a team approach with a scientific mindset. The importance of allowing team members to propose hypotheses, test them, and iterate on improvements is stressed.

  1. Checklists and Functional Checks: The role of checklists and functional checks in the quick changeover process is highlighted, based on the observation that meticulous planning and adherence to checklists can significantly improve efficiency.

  2. Minimizing Transportation and Motion: Strategies to minimize transportation and motion during changeovers are discussed, drawing parallels with the efficiency of a NASCAR pit stop, where everything is at the point of use.

  3. Preparation and Parallel Operations: The importance of preparation is emphasized, akin to a NASCAR pit crew preparing in advance while the equipment is still running. Parallel operations are presented as a method to optimize changeover times.

  4. Involvement of Employees: The importance of involving all stakeholders, including employees interacting with the equipment, is stressed. Encouraging these individuals to contribute ideas and identify areas for improvement is key to successful quick changeovers.

  5. Continuous Improvement and Positive Approach: The implementation process encourages a positive and continuous improvement mindset. Pilot programs and championing individuals in leadership roles are suggested as methods to spread successful practices throughout the organization.

 You'll see great examples used in this source.



Set-up Time Reduction Steps: The set-up time reduction process involves four steps: separating internal and external tasks, converting internal tasks to external where possible, streamlining all aspects of the setup, and eliminating adjustments as much as possible. This process emphasizes teamwork, functional clamps, effective storage, transportation, and the importance of clear reference points to minimize adjustments. The presentation stresses the need for 5S housekeeping practices and discourages premature investments in automation before optimizing setups using basic principles.

  • Separation of Tasks: Distinguish between internal and external tasks. Internal tasks, performed only when equipment is stopped, include actions like removing parts. External tasks, doable while equipment is running, involve obtaining instructions or tools.

  • Conversion of Internal Tasks: Rethink processes with fresh eyes and convert internal tasks to external where possible. Prepare parts and tools in advance, preheat equipment, and ensure clear work instructions. Analysis, video observation, and brainstorming sessions with operators aid in identifying and converting tasks effectively.

  • Streamlining Setup: Streamline all setup aspects, focusing on reducing overall time. Consider parallel operations with a team approach, akin to a Formula One pit stop. Introduce functional clamps as an alternative to time-consuming bolts. Optimize storage and transportation using clear labeling, color coding, trolleys, and efficient checklists.

  • Elimination of Adjustments: Target the elimination of adjustments, which can consume up to 50% of setup time. Implement calibration, establish clear reference points, and use standard spaces and positioning pins to minimize trial and error. Caution against premature automation investments and emphasize exhaustive improvement efforts before considering automation.

The steps in this source come straight from the SMED textbooks:




  • Introduction to Quick Changeover and SMED: The video is a part of the Gemba Academy Quick Changeover Course, where Ron Pereira introduces the concepts of Quick Changeover and Single Minute Exchange of Dies (SMED).

  • Definition of Changeover: Changeover is formally defined as the time taken to switch a piece of equipment from producing the last item of one production lot to the first item of the next lot, causing machine downtime, which is considered waste.

  • SMED Development and Focus: SMED, developed by Shigeo Shingo 50 years ago for Toyota, aims to drastically reduce changeover times. The system emphasizes basic workplace organization and planning, with up to 80% of improvements attributed to techniques from the Gemba Academy 5S Workplace Productivity course.

  • Benefits of Quick Changeover: Quick Changeover leads to a reduction in lead time, increased velocity, and improved customer satisfaction. It achieves this by reducing lot sizes, minimizing waiting time, and enabling one-piece flow or "Make one, Move one," resulting in faster completion times.

  • Impact on Inventory and Cash Flow: Quick Changeover contributes to a significant reduction in inventory, leading to lower carrying costs and increased cash flow. This improvement in flexibility and reduced lead time also enhances on-time delivery performance, allowing companies to serve multiple customers efficiently.




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