By Jon Miller | Post Date: March 9, 2007 12:24 AM | Comments: 10
Sonu asked, "Can single minute exchange of dies concept be used in office?"
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!Comments are moderated to filter spam and inappropriate content. There may be a delay before your comment is published.