Single-Minute Exchange of Die (SMED) is one of the many lean production methods for reducing waste in a manufacturing process. It provides a rapid and efficient way of converting a manufacturing process from running the current product to running the next product. This rapid changeover is the key to having the ability to reduce production lot sizes and thereby improving agility to respond to customers.
The phrase "single minute" does not mean that all changeovers and start-ups should take only one minute, but that they should take less than 10 minutes (in other words, single-digit minute). One of the greatest cases of lost production availability is the time lost during changeovers; it has been also experienced that if changeover is scheduled at 20 minutes it will typically be recorded as 20 minutes regardless of actual time and difficulties if manual data recording is used. An open issue with changeovers is to ask whether the changeovers themselves have been optimized to be efficient at the scheduling stage.
Improvements in changeover time are typically accrued through the experience of operators and some elasticity in schedule sequence execution by supervisors. This is a pragmatic approach but it is not one that can be thought of as being a continuously sustainable process.
EmsPT has noted that the bidirectional integration of scheduling and shop floor events closes a gap which can cause excessive changeovers, also, detailed examination of SOP’s (Standard Operational Processes) using workflow tools ensures that changeovers are planned correctly and allows monitoring of actual time spent. This can result in a measure of ‘Changeover conformance’ to be established and from that continuous improvement implemented from a reference.
If you are losing more time on changeovers than planned, would it help to be able to receive schedules which take into account changeover requirements; and also to have active workflow modelling to ensure that operations are planned in the best way, and being able to monitor their execution in real-time?