Single Minute Exchange of Die (SMED) is a process used to reduce waste. Originally begun in manufacturing, the techniques associated with SMED have no boundaries, and you can utilize them across different industries with the same desired result: eliminating waste. Efficiency and timeliness are hallmarks of this process, allowing for a seamless transition from manufacturing one product to the next.

In the 1950s and 1960s, the process of SMED took flight. A man named Shigeo Shingo, a consultant for numerous companies, including Toyota, discovered inefficiencies within their car body-molding presses. Consequently, these inefficiencies were caused by extended changeover times for tools. At this time, the average changeover time was between two and eight hours. If changeover takes a long time, then the production loss increases the cost of production.

SMED, Toyota, and Modern Manufacturing

Additionally, Toyota faced high land costs, meaning that vehicle storage was expensive. Their costs were higher due to the land costs, and vehicles were produced in uneconomic lots. Shigeo Shingo determined that if he could lessen the changeover costs, he could condense the economic lot size, reducing Toyota’s expenses.

Toyota altered their factory fixtures and vehicle parts to capitalize on their common parts and reduce and regulate tools and steps. The success brought about by these improvements contributed chiefly to just-in-time manufacturing, which is a standard piece of the Toyota Production System. In time, Toyota reduced changeover times from hours to just three minutes in the 1970s.

The utilization of SMED can take place within the current manufacturing and software development industries. We can apply many concepts from SMED to present-day machines and humans. Each time a person switches between tasks, they will lose concentration. Additionally, their performance may be affected, and there is a potential to make mistakes. NASCAR pit crews (preparing for each pit stop before the pit stop begins, using a coordinated team to simultaneously perform multiple steps, creating a standardized and enhanced process) utilize many techniques used in SMED. Typically, a tire changeover takes 15 seconds, and that accounts for the human element.

Single-Minute Exchange of Die Principles in Information Technology:

  • Application of SMED to those sections where there is a hold-up of operations due to changeovers
  • Software code to build and test
  • In the software build process, you can generally complete pre-build changes to the configuration outside the build server. Then, you can load it onto the server just before the build.
  • In the testing process, pre-test configuration script changes can be completed separately from the critical resource, which is then uploaded before the start of the core test activity.
  • Project Flow–you can commence many projects via a push process. For that reason, these projects will spend much of their time stalled at several points in the project process. Accordingly, SMED can assist companies in developing objective ways to arrange and assign projects. This should consequently allow companies to deliver a larger number of high-quality projects.

Quick Changeovers for Manufacturing

Internal changeover operations are those things that happen while the machine is stopped are internal changeover operations.

Other things like External, Cross-functional, and process-driven can occur while the machine is on.

Single-Minute Exchange of Die Videos

Single-Minute Exchange of Die: dies will be exchanged in nine minutes or less.

Neat illustration – but jump to 2:30 to avoid the nonsense.

Quick Changeovers for Service

ASQ Black Belt Single Minute Exchange of Dies Question

Question: Which of the following techniques dramatically shortens changeover times?

(A) Continuous flow
(B) Standard work
(C) Work in process (WIP)
(D) Single-minute exchange of dies (SMED)


Unlock Additional Members-only Content!

To unlock additional content, please upgrade now to a full membership.
Upgrade to a Full Membership
If you are a member, you can log in here.

Thank You for being a Member!

Here’s some of the bonus content that is only available to you as a paying member.

D: Single Minute Exchange of Dies. This is a definition question.

Comments (6)

F1 pit stop should be the benchmark example! – 1.92s to change 4 wheels and tyres is the current record.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.