Friday 14 December 2018

What is SMED


SMED (Single Minute Exchange of Dies) is a methodology or set of techniques pursuing the reduction of machine setup times. This is accomplished by studying in detail the process and incorporating radical changes in machine, tooling, tools, even the product itself, to reduce setup times.

Since that open six months ago the new category of quality, have been developing an intense work of exhibition of all and each of the concepts of continuous improvement and Kaizen, as well as many of the tools and techniques Lean.

As already sabemo, Lean Manufacturing is materialize in practice through the implementation of a wide variety of techniques, very different from each other, that have been implement successfully in companies of different sectors and sizes. Today we'll talk about one of these techniques: SMED.


First and foremost, and with the intention of being as didactic as possible, we will give a first definition of this tool:

These changes imply the Elimination of adjustment and standardization of operations through the installation of new mechanisms of power/removal/adjustment/center fast as templates and functional anchors.

It is a clear, easy to apply and getting positive, usually with little investment and quick results although it requires method and constancy of purpose. The reduction in setup times deserves special consideration and is important for several reasons. When the time of change is high production lots are large and, therefore, investment in inventory is high. When the time for change is insignificant may occur daily enough almost totally eliminating the need to invest in inventory.

About Methods

Quick and simple methods of change eliminate the possibility of errors in the settings of techniques and tools. New methods of change substantially reduce defects and suppress the need for inspections. The capacity of the machine can be increase with rapid changes. If the machines are at full capacity, an option to increase it, without buying new machines, is to shorten your time to change and preparation.

Note that in Japanese companies, reducing preparation times lies not only in production and engineering staff, but also in the quality Control circles (CCC).

Precisely, SMED makes use of techniques of quality for resolution of problems such as analysis Pareto, the six classical questions?

How? -Where? -Who? -When? the respective and why?

The techniques

All these techniques are use for the purposes of detecting possibilities of change, simplification or elimination of preparation tasks from identifying the cause root that determine high times of preparation or technical change. In this sense it is advisable to bear in mind the possible causes that originate high Exchange:

  • The completion of the preparation is uncertain.

  • The preparation procedure is not standardize.

  • Use of unsuitable equipment.

  • Have not apply the improvement to preparedness.

  • Materials, techniques, and templates are not ready before the start of the operations of preparation.

  • Linkage and separation activities last too.

  • Number of high tuning operations.

  • Preparation activities have not been adequately evaluate.

  • Variations in the time of preparation of the machines.

In order to perform an action SMED, companies should undertake studies of times and movements specifically related to preparedness. These studies tend to fit into four distinct phases:

Phase 1: Differentiation of the internal and external preparation.

Internal preparation, means all activities that can make them requires that the machine stops. While the external preparation refers to the activities that can be carry out while the machine works. The main objective of this phase is to separate the internal preparation of the external preparation, and convert as much as possible of the internal preparation in external preparation. The following points are essential to convert the internal preparation in external preparation, and reduce the time of the latter:

  • Prepare all the elements previously: templates, techniques, dies and materials...

  • Perform the greatest number of settings externally.

  • Keep the elements in proper operating condition.

  • Create operations for the preparation of external tables.

  • Use technologies that assist in the development of processes.

  • Maintaining the good order and cleanliness in the area of storage of the main elements and auxiliary (5S).

Phase 2: reduce internal preparation through improving the operations time.

Internal preparations which may not become external must be subject to continuous monitoring and improvement. Such effects are consider to be key to the continuous improvement of these points:

  • Study the staffing requirements for each operation.

  • Study need for each operation.

  • Reduce the settings of the machine.

  • Facilitate the introduction of the process parameters.

  • Set a standard of process data.

  • Reduce the need for checking the quality of the product.

Phase 3: reduce internal preparation by the team improving time.

All the measures taken for the purposes of reducing setup times are so far refer to activities or operations. The next phase should focus to the improvement of the team:

  • Organize external preparations and modifying equipment so that you can choose different preparations of assist form.

  • Modify the structure of the team or design techniques that allow a reduction of the preparation and implementation underway.

  • Join machines devices that allow you to set the height or the position of elements such as dies or templates using automatic systems.

4 phase: preparation zero.

Ideal preparation time is zero for what the ultimate objective should be to consider the use of appropriate technologies and the design of flexible devices for products belonging to the same family. The benefits of the application of SMED techniques translates into a greater capacity for rapid response to changes in demand (greater flexibility of the line), allowing the subsequent application of the principles and techniques read as piece by piece flow, the mix production or production level.

To finish a video of the UPV, which presents us with a description of the SMED tool, the objectives achieve through its implementation and the steps that includes such a tool.

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