Changeovers are an essential part of manufacturing. Equipment requires ongoing maintenance that includes the repair and replacement of various components.
Other aspects of your manufacturing that require attention include changes to your entire program and production systems.
Knowing how to reduce changeover times will maximize your revenue and productivity while preventing some of the most common issues related to changeovers.
Impact of Changeover Times
Setups and downtime often mean that the most important equipment used in your manufacturing must be stopped temporarily. This decreases productivity and can affect the revenue of your business.
By reducing the time required for changeovers, you create more time for production, which adds value to your manufacturing process. It can also help minimize the size of your batches and inventory.
In many cases, product lead times are reduced, which improves the customer experience and helps your sales team offer more attractive quotes to customers.
Monitor Changeover Times
Ongoing monitoring of your changeover times is the first step in making the process more efficient and cost-effective. Create a list of the changeovers that will be required in order to have everything in place when they need to be implemented.
Having a checklist that can be accessed by all of your team members ensures that everyone understands the needs that will arise and the times they’ll need to be addressed.
This improves the accuracy of your manufacturing data, which includes information related to your equipment settings and program numbers. Setup documents must be reviewed regularly and your recording process should be consistent over time.
Optimize Your Maintenance
Repairing manufacturing equipment is an ongoing process. It should be optimized to create a higher level of efficiency with reduced costs to your operations. The biggest mistake manufacturers make is to attempt to work around any broken equipment or tools.
Addressing these issues in advance and as they arise optimizes your ongoing maintenance processes and reduces the time required for changeovers.
Also, increasing the size of your changeover personnel reduces the time required for setups and allows various tasks to be completed simultaneously.
Assess Your Tooling Requirements
The investment you make in your tooling contributes to the reduction of changeover times. It’s important to evaluate your existing tools and determine where improvements can be made.
Tooling that isn’t being used should be identified and utilized when necessary. Any tools that are needed should be acquired as soon as possible. These can be sourced from other manufacturing facilities and should be prioritized according to your setup needs.
Single-minute exchange of dies (SMED) strategies seek to reduce changeover times. This approach distinguishes the different parts of the changeover process in order to make the entire process more efficient.
Some elements are separated while the remaining ones are streamlined for a reduction in changeover times.
These strategies help your organization reduce changeover times and maximize the productivity and profitability of your business. Monitoring your changeover times and optimizing your ongoing maintenance will make your entire manufacturing process more efficient in the long run.