SMED Events – The quickest way to get ROI from Your LEAN Deployment
I have implemented SMEDSMED (or Single Minute Exchange of Dies) is a method of redu... Learn More... (Single Minute Exchange of DiesSMED (or Single Minute Exchange of Dies) is a method of redu... Learn More... or Quick ChangeoverSMED (or Single Minute Exchange of Dies) is a method of redu... Learn More...) at several companies in my career as a LeanLEAN Definition LEAN is a production method aimed primarily ... Learn More... and Six SigmaSix Sigma Definition: Six Sigma is a set of techniques and t... Learn More... consultant. SMED events are a fantastic way gain quick ROI to fund an implementation; however, without the infrastructure for and sustainment of Lean and Six Sigma, these SMED efforts will eventually revert to the old (unimproved) way.
In my next blog, I will talk about the infrastructure of Lean and Six Sigma. In this blog, I will talk about some misconceptions of the SMED methodology.
Many of the organizations that I transform have had a previous SMED effort. Typically, I am brought in to Implement Lean and Six Sigma, which includes reducing Setup or ChangeoverSMED (or Single Minute Exchange of Dies) is a method of redu... Learn More... Time.
As part of our SMED event, we have a primer on the first day to cover the purpose of Lean, Six Sigma and SMED. In class, we discuss what happened during the SMED event that preceded our companies (SSDSI’s) efforts.
Most of the time, I hear the same thing. In companies that have cells of machines (or machines in a line or a “U” shape that are dependent on the previous machine), the event members tell me that the previous SMED efforts taught them the tools to speed up their machine. This is beneficial to learn, but they had not been taught how to speed up the cell as a whole.
They had not been taught how to think of their cell as a combined entity.
The SMED education was to reduce changeover time of their machine. What is missing is the focus on the constraint in the cell setup.
If I reduce the time to setup my machine by 20 minutes (from 40 minutes down to 20 minutes) but another machine that I am dependent on takes 60 minutes to setup, then my net setup time for the whole cell is 60 minutes.
We find in this departmentalized thinking (reducing the setup time of “my” machine), the operator, after finishing his/her setup, starts working on external tasks (tasks that can be done while the machine is running). These tasks are being performed while the cell is not producing.
SSDSI teaches the operator an alternate understanding of SMED events; one where the focus is on reducing the setup time of the cell not just their machine.
They learn to focus on the longest setup in the cell.
They determine before the setup begins what the best “choreographed dance” is that would allow the team to flex (move to another machine) and setup other machines.
This allows them to optimize capacityCapacity refers to the maximum amount of work, output, or a ... Learn More... of the cell setup so that they can reduce setup time.
This kind of thinking usually reduces setup times by 30-50% without making any other improvements. Once we make improvements to the setup time of each machine, the net setup time of the cell is further reduced.
Do you have a changeover processThere are many ways to organize your lean six sigma processe... in your organization that has multiple processes in a line or cell? Have you had an internal effort to reduce setup/changeover time that did not work?
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Kevin, first of all, thank you for the link to get access to this article. Next, excellent point of view. I have experienced the same with many companies that I am called in to help them improve the manufacturing cost structures.
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The iTRIZ methodology can be useful in helping inventors to better understand structural and functional alternatives to the inventions they have conceived. Often the process of determining alternatives, if considered to any significant extent, is performed based on the limited knowledge and experience of one inventor or a small handful of co-inventors. However, the iTRIZ methodology, when applied properly and rigorously, offers the potential to help such inventors to develop alternatives to their inventions (or the core components of their inventions) in a more systematic way. In this manner, the methodology offers the promise of enabling inventors (and their patent attorneys) to define claims for inventions that can provide far greater breadth than might otherwise be possible with traditional methods (e.g., relying on “rule of thumb” approaches, or approaches developed in significant part from one’s own limited or relative personal experience).
Once these alternatives become available, it should be possible to conduct on a straight-forward basis any necessary prior art searches and novelty and obviousness determinations. The key advantage offered is the apparent increase in inventive breadth that systematic and rigorous application of the iTRIZ methodology offers. Of course, a written description of appropriate breadth must be crafted to support the additional number of claims on alternative embodiments of the inventions, but this task too should become more straight-forward and should aid the efforts of prior art researchers.
Lastly, one of the most significant advantages of an iTRIZ enhanced invention approach is the potential for creating a portfolio of patent rights that is both deeper and broader than might otherwise have been possible. These attributes of the methodology should enable inventors to create robust “patent fences” around their core inventions that achieve enhanced licensing value while also reducing the potential risks of having to defend against inter partes reviews before the US Patent & Trademark Office since with more patent assets to assert, the lower the likelihood that a challenger will have the monetary resources, time or interest in filing and sustaining such administrative actions.