How to Reduce Changeover Time and Increase Throughput
Whether choosing iPhones, detergent bottles, industrial motors, or even bread, customers these days want more options than ever before. Marketing and product development departments recognize this and are pushing for more variety and more customization.
Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Transcripts - How to Reduce Changeover Time and Increase Throughput
How to Reduce ChangeoverTime and IncreaseThroughput
Whether choosing iPhones, detergent bottles, industrial motors, or even
bread, customers these days want more options than ever before.
Marketing and product development departments recognize this and are pushing for
more variety and more customization. And, in the quest for ever-increasing market share,
they usually get what they want, leaving the manufacturing departments tasked with a
Whereas in the past an organization such as Procter and Gamble might order one or two
different sizes or colors of a plastic container, they now order four sizes in twelve different
colors. Whereas the local commercial bakery used to bake white, wheat and rye, they now
bake low-carb, multi-grain, gluten-free, nut-free, and a myriad of other varieties. This is
happening everywhere, regardless of the industry or end product.
These factors all contribute to one thing—
increasing frequency of production line changeovers.
While it may be good for sales, customization and variety has the less than desirable
effect of putting greater pressure on manufacturers to produce smaller production
runs of more products. Equipment that used to run for weeks at a time making the
same product now needs to be stopped and started—and stopped and started—
multiple times, changing over from one product to the next with increasing frequency.
Product and package customization is not the only reason for this shift. Across the
board there is a quest for faster turnarounds, smaller inventory levels, and just-in-time
Unless it is carefully monitored, managed and
optimized, production line changeovers (the time from
the last part produced to the time the first good part of
the next product comes off the line) leads to ineffective
equipment utilization and lost revenue.
Henry, John R.“Calculating and Cutting Changeover’s High Cost.”Changeover.com.
Do the Math!
Excessive Changeover Time Causes
Line speed = 250PPM
Contribution = $0.50/Package
Average changeover time = 60 minutes
Cost per changeover = 250 X 60 X .50 = $7,500 ($125/minute)
Annual cost = 240 X $7,500 = $1,800,000
Line speed = 250PPM
One shift operation (8 hours)
1 hour/day of changeover
Theoretical capacity = 120,000PPD
Actual capacity = 105,000PPD
Annual capacity loss = 15,000 X 240 = 3,600,000 Pkgs.
If contribution per package = $0.50,
Cost of lost capacity is $1,800,000
(Lost capacity is lost production from a different point of view)2
Changeovers cost more than
just poor equipment utilization.
In fact, it is estimated that for a one-
hour daily changeover on a fairly
significant packaging project with the
line running 240 days per year, the
annual cost is $1.8 million.1
Because they are now performing significantly higher amounts
of changeovers, manufacturers who are still allocating the
same amount of time to a changeover as they did 10 years ago
are losing money with increasing frequency.
The need for increased efficiency of
the changeover process has never been higher.
Often company leaders don’t realize how much time they are wasting because
they aren’t measuring and observing operations at a sufficient level of detail.
A prime example of this is when Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) figures are
calculated without taking changeovers into account. This makes the figures look
good, but fails to address the real issue. Inefficient processes go unidentified and
On the other hand, manufacturers that do recognize the need for process
improvement are reaching into the toolbox, using well-established methods to
solve these problems. Lean and Six Sigma tools are principle among them because
they make it easier for companies to identify where they are being wasteful, what
types of waste they are dealing with, and how to address them.
Profits can be made or lost in the changeover process—and Lean tools can help
you come out on top in competitive situations more often than not.
McMahon, Tim.“Quick Changeover.”A Lean Journey. http://www.aleanjourney.com/2010/08/quick-changeover.html.
“Changeover costs are seldom measured, but can total as much as
tens of thousands of dollars per hour.”4
-John Henry, President of Changeover.com.
Let’s Talk Changeover Time
the time spent fine tuning the
equipment after it has been restarted.3
Changeover can be divided into the 3 Ups:
the removal of previous product,
materials and components from the line.
the process of actually
converting the equipment.
Tasks commonly performed during changeover include
n Getting tools and replacement parts
n Cooling down or heating up
n Making mechanical modifications
n Calibrating and adjusting
n Disposing of spent parts
n Putting tools and supplies away
Faster Changeovers = Multiple Benefits
Many Lean experts compare lean tools to the philosophy of a NASCAR crew during a pit
stop. A good pit crew will move efficiently, saving a little bit of time each time the driver
pulls in. Over the course of the race, these seconds add up and ultimately can make the
difference between winning and losing. Lean follows the same thought process. Small
changes can yield big results.
Quick changeovers do more than save time, they also
n Reduce defect rates—Quick changeover reduces adjustments as part of setup and
promotes quality on the first piece.
n Reduce inventory costs—Elimination of, or reduction in numbers of batches, and
their sizes, allows for recovery of operating cash and manufacturing space.
n Increase production flexibility—Increase output and improve timeliness of
response to customer orders.
n Improve on-time delivery—Quick changeover supports the ability to meet
No matter how many pit stops or changeovers your production line requires per day,
you can focus on applying Lean Six Sigma methodologies to the steps you are taking in
the changeover process to streamline them.
A Case Study: A Midwest supplier of molded
and extruded thermoplastic components and
assemblies for the automotive and commercial
industries sought to reduce machine down time
and increase production output capacity to avoid
the purchase of new equipment. After consulting
with an expert on quick changeover, they
were able to video and identify 6 specific areas
for improvement that totaled 38 minutes—a
reduction of overall setup time of 37 percent.6
McMahon, Tim.“Quick Changeover.”A Lean Journey. http://www.aleanjourney.com/2010/08/quick-changeover.html.
Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership. http://www.wmep.org/sites/default/files/QuickChangeoverInfoSheetND.pdf.
37% reduction in set-up time
There are many methods to reduce changeover time.These selections fromTim McMahon’s
A Lean Journey represent a solid“core four”to focus on.
Four Specific Steps that are needed to Reduce Changeover Time
McMahon, Tim. "Quick Changeover." A Lean Journey. http://www.aleanjourney.com/2010/08/quick-changeover.html.
n Eliminate non-essential operations—Adjust only one side
of guard rails instead of both, replace only necessary parts and
make all others as universal as possible.
n Perform External Set-up—Gather parts and tools, pre-heat
dies, have the correct new product material at the line… there’s
nothing worse than completing a changeover only to find that
a key product component is missing.
n Simplify Internal Set-up—Use pins, cams, and jigs to reduce
adjustments, replace nuts and bolts with hand knobs, levers and
toggle clamps… remember that no matter how long the screw
or bolt only the last turn tightens it.
n Measure, measure, measure—The only way to know if
changeover time and startup waste is reduced is to measure it!7
Embrace Lean Six Sigma
Lean Six Sigma provides a proven methodology to reduce changeover time
and increase productivity.
Lean Six Sigma Tools Provide:
n A metric—a standard or measurement
n A goal—3.4 defects per million opportunities
n A rigorous, process focused methodology
–the DMAIC process (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control)
n A management philosophy
n A scientific problem solving process
- Bill Soller, Lean Six Sigma expert -Principal/Master Black Belt, Supplier Six Sigma, LLC
Define, measure, analyze, improve, control…
Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control
This representation of how Lean Six Sigma tools work aptly captures how these
steps continually cycle and function together. Define, measure, analyze,
improve, control… and then do it again as new insights are revealed by
following this business-boosting process.
Keep the cycle moving, and benefit from what each of these five steps makes easier.
The DMAIC process engenders continuous operational improvement.
A Case Study: A large bakery had a
problem with the amount of time it took to
clean the line after making sheet cakes—it was
taking 66 full minutes to clean the line and get
it ready for the next product. Inefficiencies
and lack of standard operating procedures
were leading to lost time, too many re-dos,
and a lack of a sense of urgency. Using the
Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and
Control (DMAIC) project model, changeover
time was reduced by half. This netted the
company a $72,000 productivity gain, and
enabled them to keep up with customer
demand and increase their profit.8
Soller, Bill. Supplier Six Sigma, LLC.
n Single-Minute Exchange of Die (SMED)—Developed in
the 1950s by Shigeo Shingo, (who also developed the
Just-in-Time (JIT) concept) this method of changing the
die in less than 10 minutes has been esteemed since 1956,
when Shingo used SMED to reduce the set-up time of hull
assembly on a 65,000 ton supertanker; setting a record in
Examples of Lean Six Sigma Tools
Moinuddin, Khwaja.“Single Minute Exchange of Dies (SMED).”Process Excellence Netowrk. http://www.processexcellencenetwork.com/business-process-management-bpm/articles/single-minute-exchange-of-dies-smed/.
Jusko, Jill.“Drive Quick Changeover with Kaizen.”IndustryWeek. http://www.industryweek.com/workforce/drive-quick-changeover-kaizen
Time studies, motion studies, and video analysis are a few examples of Lean Six Sigma tools that
can boost revenue. Other methods to do it faster, better, and cheaper include
n Kaizen continuous improvement training events—
These are attended by organization members of various
levels with the goal of improving an existing process, or
processes. Kaizen Event Steps include gathering all team
members in one place, mapping the existing process,
making improvements to it, and soliciting input from all
parties in attendance.10
Examples of Lean Six Sigma Tools, continued
n Polymer production quality control—Polymer producers
seek technology that excels in controlling the polymer
properties in a consistent way over the entire plant
and in maximizing the production performance while
keeping safety regulations. Online soft-sensing (inferential
estimating) is just one of the ways this is achieved.11
n COT2 (Changeover tool-second generation)—“The tool
consists of three pieces of hardware: the Windows-based
tablet, a microprocessor-equipped wireless sensor bundled
with the potentiometer and nonmagnetic brackets and hooks
which are attached to the machine. Operators mount the
sensor on a given bracket and run the potentiometer’s string
to a hook on the movable machine part. LED indicators then
guide the operator in dialing in the distance to within 0.7mm
of a predetermined optimal setting. As many as 50 set points
per machine are stored in the tablet’s memory, where all the
Ohshima, Masahiro.“”Quality control of polymer production processes”.”Journal of Process Control 10, no. 2-3 (April 2000): 135-48.
Higgins, Kevin T.“Optimizing Plant Efficiency: Precision Changeovers.”Food Processing. http://www.foodprocessing.com/articles/2014/optimizing-plant-efficiency-precision-changeovers/.
Sometimes people argue that a process
change that shaves 10 seconds off is an
They couldn’t be more wrong. Think of the guy with the small hole in his
pants pocket. A coin falls out every hour. At day’s end his pockets are empty
and he wonders why.
1 hour saved on
that occurs once
a week on your
in a year
of production time
saved each year
The results add up!
Coming up with new, more efficient ways of doing things is only one part of
the process. Lean Six Sigma tools are more than just a technical approach.
They encompass a comprehensive methodology and mentality that must be
understood, valued and shared within your structure. In order to achieve what
lean processes make possible, employees across all levels of your organization
must“buy in”and actively participate and bringing these changes about.
As Jim Jelinek, co-author of Quick Changeover Simplified: The Manager’s
Guide to Improving Profits with SMED was quoted as saying in IndustryWeek,
“It is imperative that a company attempting to implement a quick setup and
changeover program clearly articulate to the workforce what such a program
means both to the company and to the employees. Their commitment requires
your (management’s) commitment… and that means in action as well as
words…if you want to influence behaviors, you need to address your people…
you need to know their beliefs and do they know yours?”13
Jusko, Jill.“Drive Quick Changeover with Kaizen.”IndustryWeek. http://www.industryweek.com/workforce/drive-quick-changeover-kaizen.
Developing an engaged workforce is key to making lean processes work
Lean tools are proven and very effective, but like any other tool, they must
be used properly in order to perform as intended. Let OH!Manufacturing
and PolymerOhio help you apply these tools to improve efficiency
and profitability. Our extensive industry experience has helped many
manufacturers improve their changeover process. We can provide the
training necessary to help your team to develop the appropriate skills, or
run the implementation on your behalf. No matter what degree of expertise
in Lean Manufacturing Methods your organization currently possesses, we
can help you improve it, making it possible for you to reduce changeover
times, increase profits and improve productivity.
Reach out to us today at 614-776-5720 to see how we can help you overcome
your specific challenges, streamline your operations, and grow your business.
155 Commerce Park Drive Suite 8 n Westerville OH 43082 n USA
Phone: 614-776-5265 n www.excellenceinmanufacturing.org
PolymerOhio is the trusted resource for Ohio’s polymer industry. An Ohio Edison Center of Technology, we
focus on assisting Ohio polymer companies in fulfilling their needs. We meet with companies to listen, learn,
and suggest custom solutions. We partner with others to provide the most efficient, high-quality solution.
For more information, please visit us online at www.polymerohio.org.
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