How to implement Quick Changeover

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SOURCE: https://www.deltamodtech.com/blog/quick-changeover-how-it-can-reduce-your-manufacturing-costs-quickly/

Quick Changeover, also referred to as SMED, is a lean manufacturing technique designed to improve your efficiency in your manufacturing procedures. Let’s apply the technique to your converting process, and show you how it can save you time and money.

Our original intent with this post was to help manufacturers to create a “back-up” system for their operating procedures. As we delved into the topic, we realized we could accomplish that and much much more by writing about ways to improve your quick changeover.

DEFINING SMED AND QUICK CHANGEOVER

Let’s start with the big picture, and define the two terms. They tend to be interchangeable, although most Western companies tend to use the term Quick Changeover. You may also just see these referred to as “changeover.”

WHAT IS SMED?

SMED stands for Single-Minute Exchange of Dies, and it is a lean production method used to reduce the waste in your manufacturing process. Like changeover, it helps reduce the amount of changeover time from running one product to the next.

WHAT IS QUICK CHANGEOVER?

Quick changeover is the amount of time taken to change a piece of equipment from producing the last good piece of a production lot to the first good piece of the next production lot. It’s essentially the same as SMED.

A CLASSIC QUICK CHANGEOVER EXAMPLE

A perfect example of quick changeover is a pit-crew at a race track. How quickly the company gets the car in and out of the pit can mean the difference between winning and losing.

Watch this video of a 1950 pit crew changeover vs a 2013 changeover. The 1950 changeover takes 67 seconds. The 2013 changeover takes…well, just watch.

HOW DOES QUICK CHANGEOVER WORK IN A MANUFACTURING SETTING?

It’s hard to say how many companies that use converting machines actually track their changeover rate. It is used among medical and pharmaceutical manufacturers, who have numerous validation requirements, as well as in the tag and label industry. Contract converters also track their changeover rate.

HOW CAN YOU DETERMINE YOUR COSTS FROM DELAYS?

In a great post on the costs of changeover for packaging operations, Velocity Equipment Solutions showed a formula for calculating how much money is lost during a changeover for automatic packaging machines. The same could be applied to any converting machines

 

They then calculated the annual cost of a changeover

 

Obviously, there’s a lot of money to be gained (or lost) by improving your Quick Changeover efficiency.

Besides this calculation, Tim McMahon, who writes A Lean Journey blog, also noted a variety of other benefits, which your organization can attach a dollar value to:

Reduce your defect rates

Because you’ll make less adjustments as part of your setup, you’ll improve quality on the first piece.

Reduce your inventory costs

As you reduce the number of batches and their sizes, you can recover operating cash and manufacturing space.

Increase your production flexibility

You’ll increase your output and boost the timeliness of your response to customer orders.

Increase your on-time delivery

You’ll be more adept at meeting customer demands.

HOW DO YOU DETERMINE YOUR QUICK CHANGEOVER RATE?

By conducting a Quick Changeover Analysis, which will include documenting your process and timing it, you can determine the rate we illustrated in the example above. We’ll get to the process – in general and specific to converting machines – in an upcoming section.

IS YOUR GOAL TO REDUCE YOUR QUICK CHANGEOVER TIME?

It should be noted that not everyone may be looking to to reduce Quick Changeover time.

Tim McMahon notes that the “purpose for reducing changeover time is not for increasing production capacity, but to allow for more frequent changeovers in order to increase production flexibility. Quicker changeovers allow for smaller batch sizes.”

 

This is particularly applicable to contract converters, who are running many different jobs for a wide range of clients.

However, medical and pharma manufacturers may be very interested in reducing the time.

 

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