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International Journal of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering

Abstract

The paper presents a study of set-up time reduction in a small factory involved in the machining of precision components in small batches with large variety for the automobile industry. The factory has made some set-up reductions mainly using work study related methods and in one manufacturing cell by the use of the Single Minute Exchange of Die (SMED) methodology. Until recently the set-up times were not measured and worse still were considered as productive hours. As a consequence, there was a lack of awareness and motivation amongst operational personnel to reduce set-up times and knowledge of SMED was limited to a small group of individuals. This, along with the lack of investment in mechanisms to aid set-up time reductions and prevent errors, has restricted the use of this type of methods and technology. However, there is evidence that the demands made by the factory’s major customer will lead to increased efforts to put into place these types of changes.

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