Can SMED (Single Minute Exchange of Dies) be applied to office environment?

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Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration
Staff member
Admin
#2
Re: Can SMED be applied to office environment?

What's the context? Single Minute Exchange of Dies is often referred to SMED.
 

Ajit Basrur

Staff member
Admin
#3
Re: Can SMED be applied to office environment?

Can SMED be applied to office environment?

Andrews
The aim of applying the SMED methodology is to systematically reduce the time lost in production for machine set-ups from hours (or sometimes days!) to minutes.

It applies to almost every production situation - machining, moulding, extrus ion, painting, assembly, fabrication, forming, casting, food processing, bottling, etc, etc.

So with this definition, why do you want to apply to office ? Changing office ? ;)
 
J

John Nabors - 2009

#4
Re: Can SMED be applied to office environment?

I can see how some of the SMED principles could be applied to office work just as they were applied to changing over CNC mills when I worked in a machine shop in the auto industry.

Suppose a company has clerical workers performing a variety of tasks, each requiring a slightly different set of records, tools and supplies, and suppose that 5 of those tasks are the ones most commonly performed. The past procedure when switching tasks was to put everything not required for the next task in desks or in some other sort of storage (cabinets, shelves, file cabinets, etc.) and pull the materials for the next task out of these various storage areas. To speed up the changeover they could obtain some sort of portable storage (bins, roller carts) for each task and place all of the materials for each task in its own discrete storage unit. When switching from one task to the next, the workers place all of the materials used for the pervious task in the designated bin (or whatever), set that bin in an area designated for storing inactive materials, pull the bin for the new task from that area containing everything they need, and hit the ground running.

Andrews- I don't have the slightest idea if something like this would be of any use in your work environment, but that is the idea- reduce dead time while switching from one task/operation/part/process to another. Implementing the SMED methodology where I used to work cut typical CNC changeover times from 6-8 hours to less than 2. We got the biggest benefit when we mapped the number of trips the machinists were taking between the machine, the tool crib, their toolboxes, the toolroom, the quality lab, etcetera and got as much of what they needed as possible onto individual rolling carts designated for each individual part we ran in order to save steps.

Hope that gave you some ideas.

-John
 

RoxaneB

Super Moderator
Super Moderator
#5
Re: Can SMED be applied to office environment?

I don't know if SMED can be applied in an office environment, but John described something that can be part of a 5S program.
 

ScottK

Not out of the crisis
Staff member
Super Moderator
#6
Re: Can SMED be applied to office environment?

Sure it can if you're creative. Don't know what kind of real savings you'd get though.

  • Adding paper to the copier.
  • Changing toner and ink cartridges in printers.
  • Changing the bottle on the water cooler.
  • Pulling and replacing reference materials.
  • Making prints of mylar drawings.
  • Emptying garbage and recycle bins.
  • Replacing toilet paper and paper towels

Remember - a key word in SMED is "exchange" - so you're reducing time to switch from one thing to another.
Otherwise I'd look more into 5S
 

Ajit Basrur

Staff member
Admin
#7
Re: Can SMED be applied to office environment?

Remember - a key word in SMED is "exchange" - so you're reducing time to switch from one thing to another.
Otherwise I'd look more into 5S
I totally agree with Discordian. SMED has to be used only in "Exchange" or "changeovers". All the tidying work is 5S
 
J

John Nabors - 2009

#8
Re: Can SMED be applied to office environment?

I believe there are many little areas of overlap between 5-S, SMED, and Total Productive Maintainence. When I worked in automotive, the company I worked for (a large multinational Tier II) outlined a process that combined the three philosophies in a methodology that could be applied to either a process or a work cell. I forget the acronym, but we liked to call it 'carpetbombing'. It was generally performed during summer or holiday shutdowns by teams of workers who traded that vacation time in return for extra v-time during another time of the year.

Think of a swarm of piranhas reducing a series of cows into skeletons in one minute apiece and you get the geneal idea.
 

SteelMaiden

Super Moderator
Super Moderator
#9
Re: Can SMED be applied to office environment?

John, thanks for your observations on the overlap of systems. I had been thinking the same, but just hadn't posted anything. Sometimes, we limit our thinking when we look at a program and say, this is only for production, this is only for housekeeping. We see topics in our field all the time where one person says you can't do something because you are only using "part of the tools" etc.

Take whatever works for you and use it anyway you can. If you can make it work for your company, who am I to say that "you can't do it that way"?:2cents:
 

Jim Wynne

Staff member
Admin
#10
Re: Can SMED be applied to office environment?

John, thanks for your observations on the overlap of systems. I had been thinking the same, but just hadn't posted anything. Sometimes, we limit our thinking when we look at a program and say, this is only for production, this is only for housekeeping. We see topics in our field all the time where one person says you can't do something because you are only using "part of the tools" etc.

Take whatever works for you and use it anyway you can. If you can make it work for your company, who am I to say that "you can't do it that way"?:2cents:
I agree that it's a good thing to not get corralled by a narrow point of view, but Single Minute Exchange of Toner Cartridges? :truce: I'd like to hear more from the OP about what he had in mind.
 
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