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How To Reduce Setup Time

Four Phases of SMED 

Printing Press make-readySetup reduction should be approached in four phases or stages as illustrated below. It is usually best to repeat the process through several iterations spaced several months apart. The initial phases of setup reduction (SMED) are straightforward and easy, yet often bring the greatest benefits. People are constantly amazed at how much time is wasted through disorganization and general messiness. 

Improving elements and eliminating adjustments will require more imagination, time and cost. Even here, the improvements are sometimes astonishingly simple and easy.

The "Kaizen Event" or "Blitz" is an excellent vehicle for setup reduction. It generates enthusiasm and fast results which make the efforts less mundane.

 Printing Press Make-Ready

Four Phases of SMED

1. Maintenance, Organization and Housekeeping 

It often happens that setup problems are related to poor maintenance such as worn parts, worn tooling, dirt, or damaged threads. Disorganization and poor housekeeping are also contributors to setup problems. These are easy to fix and should be a first step.

2. Internal Elements to External 

Internal elements occur when the machine is down. Examine each internal element and see if it cannot be done externally. For example, the pre-heating of an injection molding die could be done before it goes into the machine.

3. Improve Elements 

Here we examine every element to see how we can eliminate it, simplify it, reduce the time required or improve it in some other way.

4. Eliminate Adjustments 

Adjustments are often the most time consuming, frustrating and error prone parts of a setup. There are many ways to eliminate them entirely and this is the ultimate goal.Setup Reduction 3


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