What is SMED?

SMED, stands for Single-Minute Exchange of Die, is a theory and techniques for performing setup operations in under ten minutes, i.e., in a number of minutes expressed in a single digit. The SMED method was revolutionized by Mr. Shingo since 1950 in Japan. The concepts and techniques became available to other countries started around 1974 in West Germany and Switzerland and in 1976 in Europe and United States. However, not util 1980s, the SMED technique getting acceptace to companies outside Japan.

Effects of Setup Reduction
Setup reduction may bring the following impacts to the shop floor:

Lot-size can be reduced.
Help to reduce inventory.
Reduce the cost of setup labor.
Increase the capacity on bottleneck equipment.
Help to eliminate the setup scrap.
Reduce the potentail Quality problems and obsolescence.

Alternatives for Setup Reduction
SMED is not the only approach for reducing setup time. Some other alternatives are:

Production Planning - reduce the number of setups.
Group Technology / cell foramtion - reduce the number of setups
Design Standardization - reduce the number of setups.
Use Standard Module - reduce the number of setups.
Work Simplification.
Mechanization or automation - an expensive option.

Procedures for Setup Reduction
SMED can be conducted according to the following steps:

1.Form the setup reduction team.
2.Conduct training and education.
3.Study the setup process (e.g., use video tape).
4.Classify setup operations into waste, internal setups (IED), and external setups (OED).
-Waste - Operation which do not add values to the setup.
-Internal Setups - Operations that can only be performed while the machine is shut down.
-External Setups - Operations that can be performed without shutting down the machine.
5.Eliminate the waste.
6.Convert as many internal setups as possilbe to external setups.
-Use standard insert module.
7.Improve internal setups (include adjustment).
-Use specially designed cart to organize tools.
-Use quick-release fasteners instead of bolts and nuts.
-Use stoppers to quickly position the jigs.
-Use rolling bolsters instead of cranes.
-Use overhang mechanisms to handle heavy jigs.
-Use locating pins and holes (socket) to eliminate the adjustment.
-Use standardized die height.
8.Improve external setups.
-Apply visual control principles.
-Use checklist to avoid omission.
-Use specially designed cart to help organize tools.
-Organize workplace (5S) to reduce search.
9.Develop the standard operating procedure (SOP).
10.valuate the performance of setup reduction.
11.Prepare for the next setup reduction project.

Toolkits for Setup Reduction
Many toolkits can be applied to help setup reductions. For instance:
-Visual Control.
-5S Checklist.
-Specially designed setup cart.
-Workplace organization (5S).
-Railed cart.
-Standardized baseplate and socket.
-Attachment plate.
-Overhang tools.
-Quick fasteners -- clamping cam, crank, clamping (lock) lever.
-Standardized die height.
-Locating pins.

Lean-Manufacturing Objectives

Increasing the quality level of the working process means reducing the number of errors, repairs and rejects. The result is less demand for company resources and therefore lower total operating costs.

The production process begins with human resources, installations and raw materials and ends with finished products. Productivity increases when the same amount of initial resources generate more finished products at the end of the process, or, conversely, when less initial resources are required to produce the same volume of finished products.

Deadlines : Reducing throughtime
Throughtime is the time that elapses between the company receiving its raw materials and receiving payment for the products produced using those raw materials. Reducing this interval means being able to produce more products in the same time, better rotation of resources and the ability to react faster and more flexibly to satisfy customer needs.

Cost : Shortening the production line
A production line that is too long means more personnel, more work in progress, longer task execution times and higher logistics costs. Not only does space optimization reduce all these costs, but it also allows you to produce more in the same space.The result is the opportunity to make substantial savings on investment : fewer buildings, less floor area, lower general costs.

Cost : Reducing inventory
Inventories eat up space, add considerably to logistics costs and consume significant amounts of financial assets ; assets that could be better employed elsewhere.Used in conjunction with small containers and supply trains, supermarkets located as closely as possible to the line and line-side flow racks give companies back the value destroyed by old stock management systems with their containers, pallets and forklift handling.

Cost : Reducing space
Most companies use far too much space and more personnel than they need to :Lean Manufacturing using the LeanTek system does away with unproductive conveyors, reduces production line length, incorporates previously separate workstations into the main line, reduces stocks and cuts logistics costs.All these improvements help reduce the need for space and offer the option of earmarking the regained space for future expansion.

Reduce Waste

1 - Muda caused by inappropriate processing

Using small front-picked containers reduces the length of the line, saving on general expenditure, reducing flow costs and saving time.

2 - Muda caused by defects

Defects cost the company money and time. They require the installation of a non-productive remedial system. Disposing of rejects is even more costly. Eliminating defects means not producing them in the first place !This means creating a suitably ergonomic environment in which components and tools are all in their correct place and within immediate reach of production operations. This reduces the likelihood of impact, dropped equipment and bad workmanship.

3 - Muda caused by unnecessary movement

Unnecessary movement and movement at the workstation create no added value. Quite the opposite in fact: it makes the work harder and takes up space. LeanTek’s modular architecture allows workstations to be configured so that components are as close as possible to the operator’s hand.This contributes to reducing the negative added value generated by unnecessary movement. Operator productivity improves and there are fewer constraints on work as operators focus on productive tasks.

4 - Muda caused by unnecessary stock

Stocks of finished products, semi-finished products and raw materials create no added value. Quite the opposite in fact : excessive stocks increase costs as a result of the investment required to handle them.The Muda that results from unnecessary stock is linked to that caused by overproduction. Using a LeanTek system in association with smaller, more frequent deliveries allows companies to reduce stocks.This is achieved by installing dynamic supermarket-style storage as close as possible to the line : the stock handler can then take products directly from the flow racks to supply the production line. LeanTek allows stock to be sized to the strict minimum required and allows it to evolve simply and quickly.
5 - Muda caused by waiting

This Muda is generated when the operator no longer has the components required to carry out his/her task : their hands are idle. This works through the installation of a new logistics system based on continuous flow and regular supplies. Operators can then concentrate on added value operations, whilst logistics supplies components in small trains.

6 - Muda caused by transport

Moving products from one place to another creates no value. Quite the opposite in fact: transport eats up space and capital.The Lean Manufacturing method requires that logistic circuits are as short as possible in the plant, between the loading bay and the supermarket and between the supermarket and the line-side.This works through implementing a newlogistics system based on flexible trains capable of distributing all the components required for production to several teams in a single journey.

7 - Muda caused by overproduction

The introduction of a kanban system combats waste from overproduction. LeanTek’s contribution is the creation of customizable JIT supermarkets as close to the line as possible.

Kaizen System

One of the fist steps taken by the Lean Company is to introduce multidisciplinary teams (including operators) on the factory floor to help reduce waste. The Kaizen approach consists of making continual user-driven improvements as part of the fight against muda.

Lean Manufacturing identifies 7 areas of waste or ' muda '.

The Lean Manufacturing house can only grow if its foundations are built first. Without using a highly flexible and modular system that allows muda to be eliminated and Kaizen attitudes to be introduced into the plant, it is impossible to proceed to the later steps of Lean Manufacturing, which are work standardization, sequencing (Heijunka) JIT and JIDOKA.

The 7 lean manufacturing identified wastes

Changing the production system

There are three problems inherent in any production system:• Waste (Muda),• Instability,• Variability (Mura).
These problems reduce system efficiency by exerting a negative effect on quality, costs and delivery times. The end result is a lower return on investment.

(1)Waste (2)Continuous improvment (3)Sequencing(4) Stop et notify anomalies


You would cut delivery times significantly, at the same time as reducing your stocks.You would halve the volume of rejects. You would to achieve almost 100% reliable delivery times.You would improve machine availability by 60% with no additional investment. What would all this mean for your customers, employees and shareholders ?
The result of applying the Lean Manufacturing method is a Lean Company; an organization that combines great production flexibility and an unrivalled ability to respond to rapid change. Lean Manufacturing allows Lean Companies to respond competitively to customer personalization needs, no matter how complex the products concerned.


At the end of 1890, Frederick W Taylor became the first to study work management scientifically and distribute the results. His work led to the formalization of time and motion studies and the setting of common standards. Frank Gilbreth then added the concept of breaking work down into elementary time blocks.It was around this time that the first notions of eliminating waste and studying movement began to emerge. In 1910, Henry Ford invented the assembly line for his standardized Ford Model T. Alfred P.Sloan improved on Ford’s system when he introduced the concept of assembly line diversity at GM.
After the Second World War, Taiichi Ohno and Shingeo Shingo created the Just In Time ”, “Waste Reduction” and “ Pull System ” concepts for Toyota, which, together with other flow management techniques, resulted in the Toyota Production System (TPS).The TPS has been evolved and improved ever since. In 1990, James Womack summarized these concepts to create Lean Manufacturing at a time when Japanese expertise was spreading to the West and the success achieved by companies applying these principles and techniques became undeniable.