SMED

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Abbreviation for Single Minute Exchange of Dies, which is a process of reducing changeover (setup) time by classifying elements as internal or external to a machine’s operating time and then converting the internal elements so they can be done externally (while the machine continues to operate). The goal is to reduce the setup time from hours down to less than 10 minutes (9 minutes or less, thus the single minute concept). Although not every setup can literally be completed in single-digit minutes, this is the goal, and it can be achieved in a high percentage of cases.

The key is to move as many setup tasks from internal setup to external setup, then reduce the time needed to complete the internal tasks.

Internal setup – can only be performed when the machine is down
External setup – can be performed when the machine is running

Shigeo Shingo said that between 1975 and 1985, average setup times he has dealt with have reduced to 2.5% of the time originally required; a 40 times improvement. [A Revolution in Manufacturing: The SMED System, by Shigeo Shingo]

Shingo recognizes eight techniques that should be considered in implementing SMED.

Separate internal from external setup operations
Convert internal to external setup
Standardize function, not shape
Use functional clamps or eliminate fasteners altogether
Use intermediate jigs
Adopt parallel operations (see image below)
Eliminate adjustments
Mechanization

Closely associated to SMED, but a more difficult concept is OTED.

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