The History of Quick Changeover (SMED)

Appetizer Course
Set up history

In the previous post, I explained the basics of a quick changeover. In this post, I will go through the history of quick changeovers (also known as SMED). It is quite interesting to learn how things have developed during the twentieth century. The next post will look at different, unusual ways to teach SMED.

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Quick Changeover Basics – SMED

Formal Place Setting
Set up basics

One popular approach to battle waste is to streamline changeovers. Changing machines from one set-up to another is often a time-consuming exercise. Hence, in lean manufacturing, reducing changeover times is a well-known method for improving efficiency. In this post, we will go through the basic approach of improving changeover time, also known as quick changeover or single minute exchange of die (SMED).

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Poka Yoke Training – Simple Mistake Proofing Game

Assembled Blue Dragon
Poka yoke anyone?

Mistake proofing (or Poka Yoke in Japanese) is one important way to avoid waste in lean manufacturing. In this post, I will present a small game that can be used to teach the basics of poka yoke easily and quickly. The game is based on Kinder Surprise eggs made by Ferrero, also known as a Kinder Egg. These eggs are available almost anywhere – except in the US, in which case there are some alternatives.

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Shigeo Shingo and the Art of Self Promotion

Shigeo ShingoShigeo Shingo is a name that everyone in the United States lean community knows. He is considered “the world’s leading expert on manufacturing practices and the Toyota Production System,” an “engineering genius,” and the foremost guru of lean production. Some sources even claim he invented the Toyota Production System and taught Taiichi Ohno. Unfortunately, his achievements were much less stellar than this, but he was very skilled in the art of self-promotion.

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Evolution of Toyota Assembly Line Layout – A Visit to the Motomachi Plant

Current Layout of Toyota Motomachi PlantToyota is a company that is constantly evolving, aiming to reduce waste. Over the last few years, I have heard about changes to the Toyota assembly lines to improve efficiency.  During a recent trip to Japan, I was able to observe the assembly line at the Motomachi plant. In this post I will show the evolution of line layouts at Toyota.

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Lean is Zero Defects? – I don’t think so!

Zero Defects?If you work in manufacturing, sooner or later you will find someone who claims that lean manufacturing is all about Zero Defects. Or Zero Inventory. Or Zero Lead Time. Or Zero Whatever. This is bollocks! Zero Defects was a management fad from the 1960s that pops up regularly every now and then again. In this post we will look at what Zeros there really are in lean manufacturing – if any.

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Consistency at Toyota – The Board of Directors of the Toyota Motor Company

TMC Board members
TMC Board members

The Toyota Motor Company (TMC) is one of the most well-managed firms in the world. Among multinational corporations, it is probably the most famous one. Since its founding in 1937, TMC has continuously improved. The question is, how did Toyota do that? What does Toyota do differently from other companies, who stumble from one problem into the next? I believe the corporate culture and style start with the behavior at the top. Hence, in this post I will look at the board of directors of TMC in more detail.

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