SMED - format sets

format sets – a form of shortening the changeover times of the production machine.

What is the process of the SMED process?

Before starting the activities under the Single Minute Exchange of Die process, it is crucial to select members of the project team. The members of the project team should not only be the machine operators, technicians and mechanics, but also persons who are not normally involved in the changeover procedures, e.g. marketing or sales employees. It allows to tackle the problem from a wider perspective, free from habits and patterns connected with the above-mentioned activities.

SMED stages

The first stage of SMED is registration of the changeover operation. By carefully placing the cameras, it is also important to notify all persons who will be recorded. It will allow to avoid the recording of activities, which are not normally performed or which last longer or shorter than usually. We register the whole process – from the last good product in the previous batch to the first good product in the batch after changeover.

Having registered the process, we are able to analyze it and divide the activities into external, internal and unnecessary. The external activities are performed when the machine is working. On the other hand, the internal activities must be performed when the machine is switched off. The unnecessary activity does not add any value to the process, thus, may be eliminated. The best analysis method is to create a table, in which absolutely every activity performed during the SMED procedure, its duration, a person who performed the activity and the category of such activity will be recorded.

Having well-organized knowledge of the whole process , it is possible to transform internal activities into external activities. The purpose is to undertake such activities that are necessary for the changeover procedure before the machine is stopped. This is the key to success. It is crucial to previously prepare appropriate conditions for changeover and eliminate the necessity to adjust tools, especially in terms of their quality, i.e. based on an inner feeling.

Another stage of SMED implementation is to streamline internal activities. The best solution is to use the right lockers, drawers, format sets, fixings on the machine. Exchange of screws with easy-to-use pins, clams and ratchets. One of the most difficult tasks is to correctly set up the machine parameters after changeover so that the new product is defect-free. The application of SMED techniques allows to automate this stage.

The most important rule of the SMED process

However, the most important rule of the SMED process is constant, not single improvement of the processes and aspiration to achieve the assumed shorter and shorter times.