Here’s How We Do It: How We Use the SMED System Lean to Change Over Quickly
At E4D Technologies, we work hard to simplify our manufacturing process as much as possible to reduce waste and maximize efficiency. One of the tools that we to accomplish this goal is the SMED system, or single minute exchange of dies. Here is everything you need to know about how E4D uses the SMED system to maximize efficiency in production:
What is SMED in Lean Manufacturing?
SMED stands for single minute exchange of dies, which is a system to dramatically reduce the amount of time it takes to perform equipment or process changeovers. While originally, SMED was for changing over machinery, the principle is relevant to any change over in your production process. Changeovers of any kind can take hours away from production time if companies aren’t constantly working towards making them as simple as possible. The overall goal of SMED is to reduce changeover time to single-digits, working to complete each changeover in minutes.
Internal Vs. External Components of SMED
The main components of the SMED system are internal and external elements of changeover. Internal elements must be completed while the equipment or production line is stopped, while external elements can be completed while the equipment or production line is running. The goal of SMED is to reduce the number of internal elements via streamlining, removing or converting to external elements in your changeover process. Using external components will allow you to work on changeover while the production line is still moving.
The Benefits of Using a SMED System
Utilizing the SMED system can dramatically reduce changeover time for manufacturing companies of all sizes. No matter the type of machinery or production line, there is a simplified process for completing most of the changeover steps externally. Companies that use this system are able to lower manufacturing costs by reducing equipment downtime, while also producing smaller lot sizes and increasing their responsiveness to consumer demand.
Since we follow the guidelines set in place by lean manufacturing at E4D Technologies, we utilize the SMED to increase our productivity, while also standardizing our changeover process to improve consistency and quality. Want to learn more about the manufacturing process at E4D Technologies? Check out our blog today!
Photo Sourced from E4D Technologies