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Lean Tools, Training, and Systems

Quick Changeover
SMED Setup Reduction

Lean SMED system for change over setup reduction

The goal of Setup Reduction


Your lean objective
is throughput, not output

(Inventory that is sold,
not just produced)

Maximize lean flow

  1. Reducing setup time
  2. Minimizing batch sizes
  3. Moving tasks from 'internal setup time'

    (happening during the normal process run cycle)

    to 'external setup time'

    (happening before or after the normal process run cycle)

Why is Setup Reduction so important?

Setup reduction is important because Flow requires small batches.

And flow enables everything else that you're trying to accomplish with lean.

Benefits of Lean Flow

If your executive leaders are not already enthusiastic active champions for lean flow, then before you get into the weeds of 'how' to achieve flow, everyone on your team needs to first understand 'why' flow is so important

1) Flow enables Pull

2) Flow Improves Safety

3) Flow Improves Quality

4) Flow Improves Speed of Delivery

5) Lean Flow Improves Cash Flow

6) Flow Improves Productivity

7) Flow Improves Clarity

8) Flow Improves Morale

9) Flow Enables Offense

Flow spigot

Learn more about lean flow

How to use your Standard Work template for SMED Quick Change Over Set Up Reduction

Before you start

Launch your team, using the same tools and systems that you use to launch any team.

Analyze the Current State of your 'As Is' Process

Follow the instructions for how to use your Standard Work template to:

1) Enter your Time Observations

2) Perform Standard Work Analysis of your current state

3) Generate your Standard Work Combination Sheet

If you haven't used a Standard Work Combination Sheet in a while, you will definitely want to refresh your memory for that training section, because the definitions of an 'External Step' and an 'External Operator ' are absolutely essential for SMED Setup Reduction.

Watch this video

Standard Work Video 6:
Run Cycle Analysis, and
Standard Work Combination Sheet

Copy your 'As Is' workbook to create your 'To Be' workbook

Your Standard Work Template is designed to have only one 'StdWk' sheet, so rather than making a second sheet in the same workbook, you should copy the entire workbook.

Rename the copied workbook, using suggested document naming conventions, and save the copied workbook in the same folder with the original — to avoid breaking links to related documents.

Now you're ready to start using your template for

Quick Changeover Setup Reduction

Redesign your work flow —

looking for opportunities to:

  1. Reduce or eliminate setup time

    by using jigs, guides, and mistake-proofing and time-saving devices and methods for your unique process

  2. Time to reflect

    Use Hansei
    to stimulate Lean Thinking

    Reduce other 'Out of Cycle Work'

    Look for any row that has a 'Frequency' other than 'Run'

    (or blank which is the same as 'Run')

    Can anyone come up with any creative ideas for how to reduce those activities?

  3. Reduce 'Wait' time

    by rearranging tasks to allow operators to do something productive instead of just waiting for a machine to finish

  4. Reduce 'Batch Size'

    Plug in 'what if' numbers.

    What is currently the smallest 'Batch Size' before 'Capacity' becomes lower than 'Demand'?

    Remember, however, that the (one) Pacemaker process in a value stream usually determines the batch size for all other upstream and downstream processes in the value stream.

    So if the process that you are analyzing happens to be the Pacemaker process, then you should use both this Standard Work template and your Value Stream Mapping template to calculate the Optimum Changeover Batch Size for the entire value stream.

  5. Move Internal Setup steps outside of the 'Run Cycle' (steps that happen EVERY time)

    a) Look for steps that might happen less frequently.

    Change the 'Frequency' code.
    Perhaps once per Batch. Or twice per Shift. Etc.

    b) Look for steps that might be performed by an External Operator.

    In the 'Op' column, enter 'minus 1' (-1), which will then display as Operator 'X' (for eXternal)

    Then use Shift Down and Move to move entire rows

    The chart requires all 'Run Cycle' steps to be grouped together for each Operator.

    Excel training video
    Add, Copy, or Move rows

    That might require you to move some steps to appear before or after the Run Cycle steps for that operator.
    (Even if the steps might actually happen during the middle of that operator's Run Cycle steps, you need to keep all Run Cycle Steps together for each Operator.)

Make your plans real

Just envisioning a good idea doesn't make it so.

Use your lean management systems to make your plans real.

SMED Example

A doctor's office visit might take a lot longer if your health care provider wasted time changing out bedsheets and restocking supplies after you arrived — rather than arranging for those things to be done before you ever walk into the exam room.

SMED illustration on Standard Work Combination Sheet

Sample Quick Changeover example.
This animation shows the older version of this template. Download free trial to play with the latest.

This example also illustrates why we prefer to call it "quick changeover" or "setup reduction".

Would you want to go to a doctor that specializes in "single minute exchange of dies"? (SMED)

Setup Reduction using your Value Stream Map

The other template that is extremely helpful for Quick Changeover Setup Reduction is your value stream mapping template.

One of the many powerful things that your Systems2win value stream mapping template can do for you is to automatically calculate your optimum Change Over Batch Sizes.

value stream map

Quick Changeover Office examples

Set up reduction is needed for every industry.

It is often even more important in Lean Administration and Lean Healthcare than it is in Lean Manufacturing because it is so rare for anyone in an office environment to do anything for an entire shift.

White collar workers are constantly switching between batches of different types of work.

medical manufacturing office

Improve ANY process
in ANY industry

Examples of office change-overs might include:

  • the time it takes to switch from one assignment to the next
  • the time it takes to change printer paper (or envelopes)
  • the time it takes to start up a computer — or to open a computer application, and get to the needed screen

And office change-over time can also be hidden within more subtle tasks, like:

  • the time it takes to change from one computer screen to another
  • the re-acclimation time it takes to change focus from one task to another


Just ask any "thinking" worker about how frequent interruptions
affect their quality and productivity

testimonial quote


The templates that you will use for

SMED Quick Changeover Setup Reduction

  1. your Standard Work templates
  2. your Lean tools
  3. your Value Stream Mapping template







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