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Monday, September 12, 2016

Set-up Reduction is a Simple Yet Powerful Process

Reducing machine down time is the main goal of set-up reduction. However, reducing set-up times will boost your company’s capacity, increase your manufacturing flexibility, and help increase overall output.

The five basic steps to reduce changeover / set-up time are as follows:

     1. Observe and record the current method (videotaping is 

     2. Identify internal and potentially external elements
             a. “Internal” set-up operations are operations that can 

                 only be carried out when the machine has stopped.
             b. “External” set-up operations are operations that can 

                 be carried out while the machine is running.
     3. Convert internal activities into external ones, where 

     4. Streamline all steps using standard waste elimination 

     5. Standardize setup – the right way, the same way – every 


There are a number of ways to convert internal set-up to external set-up and streamline these steps. The following is a list of potential improvement ideas:

     1. Duality – means having two of something
     2. Minimum interchange – combine multiple fixtures into one 

     3. Fixed direction – tool / part exchange one way
     4. Standardization – no adjustment – like making all nuts 

         and bolts same size for one wrench
     5. Locators – guides, keyways, pins, etc.
     6. Minimum interference – prevent barriers
     7. Minimum distance – reduce distance thereby reducing 

     8. Minimum material handling – rollers, turn tables, gravity 

         feed devices for materials
     9. Quick disconnections – quick release connecting devices
    10. Poka yoke – mistake proofing methods like color coding 

          and go-no go device
    11. Multiple fixtures – similar to duality
    12. Handles – make it easier to access or move
    13. “Locomotive” connections – move multiple part with one 

         adjustment (via rods, chains, sprockets for example)
    14. Tapers – positioning guides
    15. Templates – simplify the set-up
    16. Rulers – simplify the adjustment
    17. Multiple workers – work together to reduce the set-up by 

          splitting up the steps

Set-up reduction is a simple yet powerful process. By looking at the process with an open mind and observing the process to really see what is happening improvement can be made.

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