Can single minute exchange of dies concept be used in office?

A

Andrews

#1
I raised the above question in one of the blog sites. I received a reply as follows

"Yes! Since SMED or single minute exchange of dies refers to changing dies, moulds, and tooling in under 10 minutes, we might want to call this Quick Changeover so that it doesn't seem so foreign to people not working with tools and machines.

The key concepts in Quick Changeover are:

1. Separate internal and external time. When a printer runs out of ink, we typically stop printing, go find the spare ink cartridge, take it out of the box, and replace it. All the while, someone is waiting for their print job.

Think of internal time as the time when you have to stop the printer to add a new ink cartridge. Getting the ink cartridge, opening the box, and having it ready to swap while the printer is still printing would be external time.

A knowledge work example of external set up could be as simple as having the next task or project prepared and waiting for you in a folder so that you could get to it right away, rather than having to go seek out the instructions and information to start the next project smoothly.

2. Cut out waste. This is mostly motion waste, but transportation, rework / correction / defects and processing waste certainly come into play. Most if not all waiting should have been eliminated in step 1. If not, see step 3.

A copy machine changeover is pretty quick, but for office equipment needing many connections or settings, it would be a matter of making these "one touch" or as easy as possible and keeping all necessary items close at hand.

A knowledge work example would be to reduce the number of clicks and screens needed to access information from a server, or make paper files more visual and easier to find.

3. Parallel changeover. Here you can imagine a pit crew in a F1 race. If it takes 10 minutes for one person to clean a large conference room between meetings, it might take 5 people only 1 minute. Improvement using a coordinated, pit crew-like parallel changeover is usually more than a linear effect, since steps can be done faster, without waiting or be eliminated all together in some cases.

A knowledge work example would be to have a team of assistants start the conversation with a new customer on the phone and do research online while while the sales executive wraps up a conversation with another customer.

4. Power tools. Just like a vacuum cleaner can clean faster than a broom, adding RAM to your computer to speed it up or having two or three monitors so that time to changing from one task or tool to another can be eliminated is an example of using power tools to speed up the internal changeover time.

Do this last, as it makes no sense to use speed tools on tasks that should be done externally (step 1) or things that should not be done at all (step 2).

In all cases the goal of SMED or Quick Changeover is to reduce down time so that you can reduce the lot sizes of work in an effort to shorten queue times, keep lot sizes constant but increase capacity, or some combination of both. A good place to start with quick changeover in the office is to ask, "Why do we need to reduce changeover time?"

These are just a few quick thoughts from an airport lounge. Readers! Do you have other good examples of Quick Changeover or SMED in the office? If so, post them here!".

What are the views of forum members?
 
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C

chergh - 2008

#2
To be honest a lot of it is going to come down to the sort of office but overall I'm not impressed. The knowledge work situations seem contrived and the aim seems akin to turning an office into a sweat shop.
 

Marc

Fully vaccinated are you?
Staff member
Admin
#4
I raised the above question in one of the blog sites. I received a reply as follows

"Yes! Since SMED or single minute exchange of dies refers to changing dies, moulds, and tooling in under 10 minutes, we might want to call this Quick Changeover so that it doesn't seem so foreign to people not working with tools and machines.
...................
What are the views of forum members?
I don't see a problem with SMED in the office and the replies you received in a blog make sense. I think the question in the other thread about this brought up the point that SMED as a general methodology can be used, but that the SMED label is probably not appropriate.

As I look at most of this, I keep coming back to the same thing. We can put a name on it but it's really just common sense just as, in my opinion, SMED is. Any time one takes the time to evaluate the way things are done, it is rare that one cannot come up with time saving aspects.

None the less, I would be interested in comments including examples other have done or think would be appropriate.
 
D

duecesevenOS - 2009

#5
I think the reality of the situation is that most "equipment" in an office situation are pretty efficient already (not to say that most people are). Your printers, computers, faxes, phones, etc. are all commercial off the shelf units that have been redesigned thousands of times by multiple companies that were competing with each other to meet customer demand. Your not going to go out and modify your printer to make the exchange of cartridges faster.

The modifying of equipment to make exchanges quicker is a large part of the SMED process. I think if your going to look at your companies fat, your not going to look into speeding up changeovers of printer cartridges. You might 5S the office to ensure that printer cartridges are easy to find and you might standardize the changeout procedure by displaying instructions around the printer but your not going to modify the printer to make a changeout quicker.

Yes it is all perception but words do mean things and so do labels. I don't think that I would want this forum to give the impression that a SMED article or book would be a good place to go to make the office more efficient. Putting the right label of 5S on this organizing is a better way of putting it.
 
W

wmarhel

#6
Most people have a tendency to get wrapped up with the "die" portion of SMED (single-minute exchange of die). In the prior reply the replacement of printer cartridges was mentioned.

The same concepts, separating the internal from the external, apply to processes as well, and not just changing out tooling. For example:

1) Legal office - Transitioning from one plaintiff's case to the next (don't want to get information mixed up)

2) Doctor's Office - Going from entering data from patient visits that day, to entering data into drug study

3) Materials Department - From entering Bills of Lading to releasing purchase orders.

It is all about reducing the time from the end of one process to start of the next.

It's the concept that counts, not the terminology. For instance, pick the correct term: hoagie, sub, grinder, etc.

Wayne
 

Jim Wynne

Staff member
Admin
#7
It sounds like there's serious danger of allowing the tail to wag the dog here. Making things as efficient as possible is a good idea, so long as the efficiency isn't just being done for its own sake. If you have to walk to the other side of the building to get a toner cartridge, or as was mentioned in the other thread, get an IT person to do it for you, then there's a possibility of lost productivity, and a near certainty of frustration. On the other hand, if you only have to walk across the room to get a cartridge, there's probably no point in having a "system." One problem in offices is getting people to change cartridges and replenish other supplies even if there is a system. There's always going to be a lazy *#^# or two who will walk away and let someone else worry about it.

A little :topic:, but my father worked as a newsman for a big Chicago radio station, and when he first started there he was working the overnight shift. News comes to broadcast outlets from wire services such as Associated Press, and back then it came via teletype machine. It seems that the people working during the day had a bad habit of not changing the ribbons in the machines, which meant that someone working at night had to do it, sometimes at the expense of losing some copy due to faint printing. His solution was to replace the ribbon, but save the spent one, and put it back in the machine before he left in the morning.
 
D

duecesevenOS - 2009

#9
I totally agree with the fact that the "SMED Concepts" could easily fit into the office environment. That is absolutely true because the "SMED Concept" in a big picture are the concepts of TPS.

If you looked at this from the point of view of a curriculum, applying SMED to the office is like applying the concepts of chemistry to testing the reaction of a bat and ball. The "Chemistry Concepts" work because you use scientific method to analyse the experiment. It will work great and if you follow the scientific method you used in chemistry you will probably be able to perform a good experiment. It's just not "chemistry concepts" that you are using, it's the overarching scientific principles that you are using. You would be better off if you had taken a good physics class and oh boy if you had taken dynamics you could really get down and dirty with it.

I totally agree that all of the applications of SMED discussed are good applications. I just want to be able to take a step back and realize that SMED is not necessarily the "concept" we would teach if asked for efficiency in the office. If the chemistry book is all I had to explain scientific method to a someone testing bat and ball dynamics, I'd explain it to him from that book.

If someone asked to make the office more efficient and it was the only thing I could reference I'd explain lean to them through Shigeo. It wouldn't be my first choice though.....
 
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