Written by Steve Hudgik
In manufacturing tooling and die changes can use a significant amount of time. While a tooling or die change is being made the production line is shut down. It is lost time, and those costs must be covered. In addition, the down time for changing tooling or dies impacts other production decisions. The more time it takes, the longer the production cycle needs to be in order to get a large enough production run to keep costs down. The result is much larger inventories and higher inventory costs.
SMED is an acronym for Single-Minute Exchange of Die. "Single-Minute" means a time period less than ten minutes - a single digit time. But the best way to understand SMED is to to understand that the objective is to minimize the down time for tooling and die change-over as much as possible.
Using SMED to reduce change-over times results in a number of benefits that go right to the bottom line.
SMED achieves reduced change-over times by breaking the change-over process into separate parts. The two major division are External Setup and Internal Setup.
SMED External Setup: All change-over work that can be done while the production line is running is in the External Setup category. This includes positioning all tools, equipment, dies, supplies and other resources that will be needed for the change-over, before the shutdown for change-over starts. It includes completing all possible preparations such as preheating dies or hot water that will be needed. SMED External Setup also includes ensuring the supplies and materials, needed for the product to be produced after the change-over, are in place and available for immediate use.
MED Internal Setup: Change-over tasks that must be performed with the production line shut down should be simplified and all non-essential operations eliminated. Shigeo Shingo observed that it's only the last turn of a bolt that tightens it - the rest is just movement. Eliminate all unneeded movement and actions.
Clear communication is vital during both external and internal setup. Checklists should be provided to ensure everything is ready before the shutdown starts. Procedures should be readily available. Safety warnings and information should be prominent. Labels and signs that make information available right where it is needed are the answer... and DuraLabel printers and supplies are what give you those labels and signs.
DuraLabel is the label printer brand that delivers quality, ease-of-use, and long-term durability. You can know that even before you purchase your DuraLabel, because DuraLabel has warranties unlike any other label printer brand. You get a full three year warranty on the printer, including the print head – at NO EXTRA CHARGE. That's right, with DuraLabel you don't need to pay extra to purchase an extended warranty. DuraLabel printers are so tough they come with an extended warranty right out of the box.
With tough-tested DuraLabel vinyl labeling supplies you get a five year warranty on the labels and signs you make. No other brand offers a warranty like that.
Call 1-888-326-9244 today and ask about DuraLabel printers and supplies that support SMED, as well as handling all of your other labeling and sign needs.