The benefit of LEC-SMED Program
Machine setup time refers to the period of time that is required to prepare a machine for its next GOOD part run after it has completed producing the last GOOD part of the previous run. But, why should you pay attention to the change over time? Many companies are focused to decreasing run times under the non-completely true understanding that it will reduce overall lead times, for which they should also focus on reducing the change over time in order to be able to:
- Reduce your manufacturing costs
- Increase added flexibility to comply with your customers’ demands.
Interested? Keep reading
Now the question is how to reduce the Change Overtime?
Typically, the changeover process runs like this: First gathering the appropriate tools for the next job, which in many cases means having your people hunting around your facility for tools, operating instructions, and set up parts. Then after the hunting season is ended the old parts need to be exchanged for the new ones. Once the parts have been set in the equipment, it comes to the “poking” stage. The new tooling goes through some arbitrary setting based on the technician “taste”, a set of repositioning and calibration procedures to ensure that the tooling is “properly” set. Once this activity finished, you find that you need to recalibrate, that the materials used are not the correct ones, that there are some parts broken…… After some more poking, trial-test runs and a large number of adjustments, the set-up team turns to green the machine Andon, meaning the equipment is ready to “take off” and begin producing good parts. Do this short tale sound familiar to you? Do you feel satisfied with your actual changeover – set up times activities?
If your answer was a big YES, it means to you might be in the need to achieve shorter lead time and increased capacity by reducing the change-over time.
One of the key tools for reducing your machine setup times deals with implementing a Single Minute Exchange Die program. LEC– SMED is a system for dramatically reducing the time it takes to complete equipment changeovers. Through this, you will be able to capture
- Capital equipment purchases avoided or delayed
- Better quality and more consistent processes
- Lower manufacturing costs and improved cash flow
- Less inventory
- Increased flexibility to meet client demands
- Better utilization of your workforce
- Less process variability
A value-added component of the LEC-SMED program is that you and your whole team will be able to capture accurate setup data that will help you understand your current processes, helping you reduce the time the ‘gauging’ stage of the setup process takes.
Interested in learning more about change overtime reduction in lean manufacturing processes and the key steps you should be taking to reduce machine setup time? Please contact us at Lean Enterprise Consulting and we will share with you the main steps of a typical setup process, how to reduce the setup process from hours to minutes, the financial benefits of reducing setup time over run time in order to improve the manufacturing process.
Dr. Thomas Agrait – CEO – Lean Enterprise Consulting
Eng. Ian Carlos Hernandez – VP of Operation – Lean Enterprise Consulting