The Comprehensive Guide to SMED: Meaning, Process, and Examples

The Comprehensive Guide to SMED Meaning, Process, and Examples

In today’s manufacturing world, the need for quick and efficient changeovers is more important than ever. That’s where SMED comes in. SMED is a system that dramatically reduces the time to complete equipment changeovers. But what exactly is it, and how can you apply it to your business?

This article will cover everything you need to know about SMED, including its meaning, how to apply the SMED process in three important steps, and some SMED examples to help guide you.

 

What is SMED?

Single-Minute Exchange of Dies, or SMED, is a Lean tool commonly used in the manufacturing industry to reduce equipment changeover time. SMED aims to complete as many steps as possible within a minute or less while the equipment runs.

 

Why is SMED Important?

In today’s fast-paced business world, the ability to quickly adapt to change is more important than ever. That’s where SMED comes in. By reducing equipment changeover time, businesses can be more agile and responsive to changes in customer demand. In addition, SMED can also help businesses avoid the cost and waste associated with downtime.

 

The Meaning of SMED

To learn more about this time-saving tool, it’s important to understand each term. 

  • SMED: The acronym SMED stands for Single Minute Exchange of Dies.
  • Single Minute: This refers to the goal of completing as many steps as possible in a single minute. In other words, the changeover process should take no longer than one minute. However, this number can be modified depending on the type of equipment and the specific business needs. 
  • Exchange: This refers to the process of exchanging or changing out the dies, tools, or other components that are being used on the equipment. 
  • Dies: Dies are the tools or components being changed during the changeover process. A die is a specialized piece of equipment that defines the size and shape of a product. It is best described as a stamp or an industrial-level cookie-cutter.
  • Exchange of Dies: This refers to exchanging dies, or tools, for equipment.

 

Does Your Business Need SMED?

Now that you know what SMED is and what it stands for, it’s time to answer the most important question: does your business need SMED? 

The answer to this question depends on a few factors, including the type of business you have, the type of equipment you use, and your specific business needs. 

If you’re unsure whether or not SMED is right for your business, we recommend contacting a SMED expert. They can help you assess your specific needs and determine whether or not SMED is the right solution for you.

To determine whether or not your business needs SMED, here are a few questions that you need to ask yourself:

 

Do you have a solid system in place for measuring manufacturing performance data?

If not, consider using DATAMYTE and its Digital Clipboard, a powerful workflow automation software built to create a connected factory and is used by industry leaders (more on us later).

 

Does the system measure Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE)?

OEE is a manufacturing performance metric that measures the percentage of manufacturing time that is truly productive. For example, an OEE score of 100% means that you are manufacturing only good parts at the maximum speed and with no downtime. 

 

Have you collected your systems’ manufacturing performance data for at least two weeks?

Based on the data you acquired, what percentage of lost productive time comes from changeovers? To determine this, we recommend taking a closer look at the breakdown of the availability score, as this will give you a better idea of where the lost time is coming from.

 

How to Implement SMED in Three Steps

Now that you know what SMED is and why it’s important, it’s time to learn how to implement it in your business. The SMED process can be broken down into three simple steps:

 

Step 1: Convert Internal to External Activities

The first step is converting as many of the internal activities to external ones. This means you should try to complete as many steps as possible while the equipment is still running. By doing this, you can avoid or minimize downtime.

To do this, you need to identify all of the steps in the changeover process and determine which ones can be completed while the equipment is still running. Once you’ve identified these steps, you can begin working on them. 

Remember, the goal is to minimize downtime to be more agile and responsive to market demands.

 

Step 2: Eliminate or Streamline Non-Value Added Activities

The second step is to eliminate or streamline all of the non-value-added activities. This means that you need to identify all of the steps that are not necessary and remove them from the process. 

To do this, you must go through the changeover process and determine which steps are not adding value. Once you’ve identified these steps, you can begin working on eliminating them. 

Remember, the goal is to minimize downtime to be more agile and responsive to market demands.

 

Step 3: Standardize The Changeover Process

After completing the first two steps, you should understand the changeover process well. The next step is to standardize the process so it can be completed quickly and efficiently. 

To do this, you need to create a detailed plan outlining all of the process’s steps. Once you have this plan, you need to ensure everyone involved in the changeover process understands and follows it. 

Remember, the goal is to minimize downtime to be more agile and responsive to market demands.

Following these three simple steps, you can implement SMED in your business and dramatically reduce downtime.

 

SMED Examples

Now that we’ve gone over what SMED is and how to implement it, let’s look at some examples of how others have used it successfully.

 

Example 1: Company A (Restaurant)

  • Changeover: Switching from breakfast to lunch.
  • Equipment: Staff and kitchen.
  • Time equipment is running: When guests are being served
  • Time equipment is stopped: When the restaurant is closed
  • Elements:

    • Bringing out ingredients for lunch menu meals
    • Clean the kitchen/prepare stations (clearing chopping boards, throwing out used oil, etc.
    • Ensure second shift (or lunch shift) servers are ready.

 

1st Step: Convert

  • Internal to External Activities
  • Plan the sequence of the process and establish what can be done while the line is still running 
  • Label all tools and machines so that they are easily identifiable
  • Create a standard operating procedure (SOP) for the changeover process

 

2nd Step: Eliminate

  • Identify all of the steps in the process that are not necessary and remove them
  • Streamline the remaining steps so that they can be completed more quickly

 

3rd Step: Standardize

  • Create a detailed plan that outlines all of the steps in the process
  • Make sure that everyone involved in the changeover process understands it and is following it
  • Test the process to ensure that it is efficient and effective

 

Following these three steps, Company A could reduce its changeover time from two hours to thirty minutes. This allowed them to be more agile and responsive to market demands, which helped them improve their bottom line.

 

Make an Effective SMED with DATAMYTE

To incorporate SMED effectively into your operations, you’ll need to incorporate a system for measuring manufacturing performance data. DATAMYTE ‘s solutions are designed to help you do just that.

The DataMyte Digital Clipboard is a workflow automation software designed to collect, track, and analyze data throughout manufacturing. It can be used to track changeover times, as well as a variety of other performance indicators.

The very core of SMED is creating effective workflows that help address the issue and optimize the process. The DataMyte Digital Clipboard lets you do just that! With our easy-to-use drag-and-drop interface, you’ll be able to create comprehensive SMED-centric workflows that will help you achieve your manufacturing goals.

Contact us today to learn more about how the DataMyte Digital Clipboard can help you implement SMED in your business! We’ll be happy to answer any questions you have and provide you with a demo of our software.

 

Conclusion

There’s no denying that SMED is an effective tool for reducing downtime and improving manufacturing agility. However, like with any process improvement initiative, it’s important to have a plan in place for measuring and tracking progress. So if you’re interested in reducing downtime, we suggest using the DataMyte Digital Clipboard to help you implement SMED in your business. Get started today!

 

 

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