What is SMED?

Originating in manufacturing, SMED was aimed at minimising the time to change tool sets, hence its full meaning: Single Minute Exchange of Dies. Many changes involve much more than a few minutes’ time – hours or even days.

In sectors other than manufacturing there are often regular make ready/preparation changeover activities which can benefit from this proven methodology. With high volumes of short setups or long, repetitive setups huge savings are possible, with little or no additional cost.

Quicker changeovers, SMED

How do you measure changeover time or process downtime?

“The time between the last good item off one ‘run’ and the first good item off the following ‘run’”. This can apply to processes and activities in any industry sector.

This measure of downtime is for the process or operation. It may involve one or many people and “man hours” involved is clearly a cost, but not the measure of process downtime.

What is the principle of SMED?

Quite simply, to better organise activities so that only absolutely necessary activities happen in the changeover periods. Many can normally be performed either before, or after, or by someone else – and others are eliminated.

Scott-Grant’s approach to SMED

Aimed entirely at LOW COST/NO COST improvements, so it’s rarely about capital investment

Delivers benefit within a month, often less

Developed from the classic SMED technique

Focussed on keeping it simple – it’s about better organisation

Not really about “time measuring” changeover routines in detail

A very simple approach, involving your people, mainly at operator level, with a suitable Team Leader

Takes around 2-5 days of Scott-Grant time typically over 1-4 weeks, including formal SMED training, working on your live changeovers

Gives you the methodology to continue to apply the technique and derive further benefits

Productivity Pointer

Widen the objective for improvement: ‘increase throughput because we have more orders’. That’s better than ‘we think people could work harder’.

Find out more

How to learn more about SMED

Scott-Grant is widely acknowledged as “outstanding” in delivering training for people wanting to study SMED

Productivity Pointer

It’s rarely a single issue that is the cause of a productivity problem.
Often more than one resource issue lies at the root.


Training courses that cover SMED

Here is a list of training courses where SMED is included in the content.

Or we can supply Lean specialists on a project or contract basis to help you in your business. Ask us for details.

What to do next

If you need to improve capacity or reduce costs, or you need accurate data to determine how best to cope with change, we can provide the right way forward – cost-effectively. Remember that improving productivity is about making the better use of all your resources and vitally, making much better use of the critical ones.

Whichever business sector you operate in, the chances are we’ve helped people to address their productivity issues and improve the way they operate.

Scott-Grant can really help you improve your productivity and become more streamlined.

to help you understand more about