Changeover & Set-Up Gains:

The client was a subsidiary of a large plumbing fixture manufacturer producing the internal parts for their parent company. They utilized single & multi-spindle screw machines to produce the internal parts of faucets. The goal for this facility was to increase the use of their assets by increasing the throughput of the operation. Utilizing value stream mapping and the use of shop floor controls, it soon came to light that the equipment was utilized less than 65% of the available hours. The largest portion of this time was changeover time.

By employing the techniques of SMED (Single Minute Exchange of Dies) we were able to reduce the changeover time to less than 10% of the original changeover time. Change over times decreased from several days to just hours.

Prior to our arrival the time to changeover was measured by the hours spent changing over the machine. For example if the machine finished it’s order on 1st shift and they began the changeover halfway through the shift that accounted for 4 hours. No one from 2nd or 3rd shift would work on this particular machine. 1st shift would continue the changeover the following day and this would continue for two to three days. They would call record this as 20 hours, when in fact, the machine was down for up to 42 hours. By graphically showing management this cost of lost opportunity in the equipment the sense of urgency was greatly increased! We then set about applying SMED practices (identifying internal vs. external activities, 5S’s, etc…) and reduced the set-up time to a few hours.

The result was substantial increase in available machine time. The greatest improvement began with the change of mindset of the management team to recognize that the business practices the company grew up on no longer worked in the global economy. Once this was realized management pursued the improvements with a real fervor. As this newly found machine time was sold, profits increased dramatically.