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Single Minute Exchange of Die

Changing a product mold in our industry is never a matter of “if,” it’s strictly a matter of “when.” As such, that change out time is critical to the production flow. We’ve seen operations that approach a mold change like a race-car pit crew during production and other operations that do it at the end of the shift while clean-up is occurring. The assumption is that it is a constant work in progress to transition from one product to the next in an efficient and timely manner.  Lean Manufacturing has a term for it; SMED, or Single Minute Exchange of Die. SMED is a process driven method of reducing changeover times through observation and evaluation of the steps involved. It’s a method discerning what can be done while the equipment is running or can only be done while the equipment is stopped. This will result in external and internal procedures that can ultimately cut down the time needed for a mold change without compromising unit quality. For more information contact Mike Maroney.