Businesses around the world strive to operational costs and waste across their supply chains to remain competitive in
the growing global market. Initiatives for set-up duration reduction are critical for lean manufacturing implementation despite than many organisations that initiate Single Minute Exchange of Dies (SMED) fail on implementation. The plastic injection moulding machines at an engineering firm are characterised by an ineffective process and the main problem was that the single changeover time ranged from 45 min to over 60 minutes, thereby leading to longer downtime and less production time. The scenario resulted in production capacity constraints, longer lead times and this led to loss of future business with some of the customers due to failure to meet delivery dates. The objective of this study is to identify and separate external and internal elements, establish cycle time and reduce tool changeover time for the plastic injection moulding machines. By implementing the new tailor-made SMED improvement programme of having tools ready before machine stops running, combining steps, bringing tool-holder before commencing the tool change process and establishing the production sequence to take advantage of temperatures, material type and colour, the engineering firm achieved 22% reduction in changeover time.
Process improvement, Single minute exchange of dies