Single Minute Exchange of Die

A process for changing over production equipment from one part number to another in as little time as possible. SMED refers to the target of reducing changeover times to a single digit, or less than 10 minutes.

Shigeo Shingo’s key insights about setup reduction, which were developed in the 1950s and 1960s, were separating internal setup operations—which can be done only when a machine is stopped (such as inserting a new die)—from external operations that can be performed while the machine is running (such as transporting the new die to the machine), and then converting internal setup operations to external operations. (Shingo 1985,p.21-25)