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Rapid Setup Blitz

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Copyright 2003 Strategos, Inc.

February 28, 2003                       www.strategosinc.com


Setup Reduction & SMED

My last message discussed lot sizing and small lot production. With small lots, Kanban functions better and conventional scheduling is easy and flexible. But, small lots require fast, inexpensive and predictable setups. If your people and equipment already do this, Rapid Setup is of little concern- otherwise, read on.

In many industries, such as printing, setup reduction is a hot topic but the discussion mostly involves expensive technology. Significant setup reduction rarely needs new technology.

We recently conducted setup reduction training for a printer of labels. Their team's analysis identified quick and easy changes that reduced setups ("Make Ready" in the printer's vernacular) by 60%-70%.

In most cases, manufacturers can cut their setup time in half without a lot of new equipment, tools and fixtures. Sometimes the improvement is even greater. For examples go to www.strategosinc.com/setup_reduction3.htm .

For more on how to cut setups see our series of articles starting at:



A Kaizen Blitz is an effective way to start setup reduction. These events are exciting and dramatic. They produce fast, spectacular results. There is more at:



Unfortunately, setup reduction is a more mundane aspect of Lean Manufacturing. It does not have much glamour. But it can be critical for the success of a Lean Manufacturing strategy. Don't ignore it!

All The Best-

Quarterman Lee

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