Definition: SMED is an acronym for Single Minute Exchange of Die. It is a manufacturing method for reducing waste in a manufacturing process by achieving rapid turnover of dies/tools/moulds in less than 10 minutes (single-digit minutes).
Being able to change dies etc. quickly is key in making manufacturing processes flexible and more efficient, because the economic lot size is calculated from the ratio of actual production time and the changeover time. If a changeover takes a long time, then the lost production due to changeovers drives up the cost of the actual production itself.
It was first used in the Toyota Production System and later in Lean Manufacturing.
More on manufacturing: 5 Whys, Changeover, Contract Manufacturing, Cradle to Cradle, Experience Curve, more...
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