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FLEXO Magazine : September 2009
www.flexography.org SEPTEMBER 2009 FLEXO 51 PLANTS & PROCESSES Seiso (Shine or sweep). The next step is to focus on keep- ing a clean, organized work area. Seiso is about making the area look good. Clutter not only attracts dust and the print de- fects that are associated with it (pin-holes, hickeys, etc.), but it also impacts efficiency. In a pressroom that is organized and clean, everyone can immediately locate tools and supplies when an immediate need arises. Seiketsu (Standardize). Seiketsu in 5S is mostly focused on standardizing locations and how the work area is main- tained. Standardization, or seiketsu, is critical for setup reduc- tion and is a valued principle of many aspects of Lean. Shitsuke (Sustain). The fifth stage is undoubtedly the most difficult---that is to sustain the improvements over an ex- tended period of time. It takes discipline and focus. It is most natural for humans to revert to their previous practice and to clutter the area, reducing efficient makereadies. So how do you sustain the 5S improvements already made? By revisiting and clarifying the vision constantly. Without understanding why employees are being asked to keep an organized, tidy work area, they will grow bitter and resentful. SETUP REDUCTION: SMED Now that you have a basic understanding of 5S, let's see how those concepts can be leveraged to improve your bottom line. Consider this: If you could decrease your makeready time dramatically, could you pass those savings onto your customer, thus increasing your value to your customer? Could you also decrease your costs, thus impacting your profit? Could you add additional production capacity to your press line with no additional capital costs? Single Minute Exchange of Dies, or SMED, is a process developed by Shigeo Shingo, a consultant to Toyota and other manufacturers for many years. SMED focuses on identifying different makeready tasks and classifying them into internal or external operations. Internal operations are those tasks that must be completed while the press is stationary and ex- ternal tasks are those that could be completed while the press is still running. SMED also focuses on analyzing all tasks and figuring out ways to eliminate, reduce, or re-engineer the task to shorten the time required to complete it or complete it while the previous job is still running. But before we get into those details, let's briefly discuss the background of SMED. SMED principles were established by Shingo over a period of time at Mazda, Mitsubishi (shipyard), Toyota, and other companies. In the 1950s and 1960s, these companies were trying to figure out how to vary the cars made on their produc- tion lines so they could accomplish just-in-time manufactur- ing---first a Crown then a Corona and later the Publica and Corolla. The goal was small lot production. However, the die presses used to stamp car body parts required long change- overs---often as much as four hours. This made it very difficult to produce different models without an elaborate setup process. The stamping dies weighed multiple tons each and were difficult to move. One of the reasons the stamping process was so time-consuming had to do with the way the dies were