Single Minute Exchange of Die (S.M.E.D.)
SMED is the Lean tool used to very quickly change machines or processes over from producing a specific part number or product to producing a different part number or product or changing an attribute(s) of the current part number or product. SMED processes are highly choreographed and rehearsed to minimize machine downtime.
Coments: Generally when we speak of SMED we are talking about changing machines over by taking out dies or mechanical structures and replacing them with other dies or structures. It is also very common to change from one color, flavor, thickness, etc. to another. Generally there is a certain amount of “purging” of current product to allow for the introduction of the “new” product or specific different elements.
Many companies now recognize the importance for minimal machine downtime during changeovers and have created entire systems for completing changeovers and setups very quickly. Likewise, many equipment manufacturers have begun integrating quick change systems into capitol equipment as a major selling point.