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Improving Production with Lean Thinking by Javier Santos, Richard A. Wysk, Jose M. Torres

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7

Equipment Efficiency: Availability, Quality, and SMED

It has become increasingly important to manufacture products economically in smaller and smaller batches. On the one hand, new management philosophies demand that product lead times (both development and then manufacturing times) are kept as small as possible. On the other hand, product customization has increased, thereby increasing the number of parts in a product family. As a result, batch sizes have been reduced and continue to shrink.

In this context, companies should be as agile and flexible as possible. Part of the required agility is to reduce machine setup times to minutes instead of hours. Unless setup time can be reduced significantly, it will be difficult to produce small batches and reduce lead time economically.

The single-minute exchange of dies (SMED) methodology, as it is called, is a clear, easy-to-apply methodology that has produced good results in many cases very quickly and amazing results in some other cases. The SMED methodology was developed by Shigeo Shingo in Japan from 1950 to the 1980s. With this methodology, it is possible to achieve good results without costly investments, which makes implementation in many factories an easy decision to make.

SETUP PROCESS

A setup process corresponds to the time required to go from the end of the last good part from one batch to when the first good part of the following batch is produced. Using this definition, the trials needed to obtain the first good product ...

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