France Special Tool

30111 NE Timmen Rd

Ridgefield, WA 98642


Tel:  1-(800)-332-4456

Fax: 1-(360)-263-3899

Maker of high-quality, precision tools for over 40 years.

S.M.E.D. (Single Minute Exchange of Dies)

"Reduce your setup and adjustment times from hours to minutes."

In these times of rapidly increasing diversity and smaller batch sizes, setup time reduction can be a major contributor to the profitability of many companies. For example, bottling industries can spend more than 20% of their planned production time on changeovers. Fortunately, these setup and changeover times can be reduced significantly when the Single Minute Exchange of Dies (SMED) system is applied. Single Minute Exchange of Dies is the proven approach to reduce output and quality losses due to changeovers. Any company that relies on punching, stamping, or forming processes can quickly apply the SMED system using the
FST logo smallQuick Change die changer to reduce their setup times and increase profitability.

SMED is a phrase coined by Shigeo Shingo at Toyota Motors in the 1960s and has become a synonym for fast changeover. SMED was the result of a project that Toyota assigned to Shingo. They realized that they needed to make more than one model car at a time to succeed. They also realized that multiple car models meant multiple changeovers of stamping presses. Under this strategy, they could no longer live with 10-12 hour press changeovers.

"The flow must go on", was Shigeo's reaction when he witnessed change over times of more than 1 hour. Based on his experience and observations, he developed a method to analyze the changeover process, enabling local personnel

to find out themselves why the change over took so long, and how this time can be reduced.

Shingo used standard industrial engineering techniques to analyze the changeover. His major breakthrough was in realizing that the key to reducing changeover time was externalization of as many tasks as possible. That is, performing as much of a changeover as possible with the press still running. Some examples include:

  • Bringing the dies to the press ahead of time
  • Assuring that the dies were complete including all fasteners
  • Modifying all dies to the same physical size, eliminating setup adjustments

With the FST logo smallQuick Change system, implementation of SMED is simple. In most cases, change over and setup times can be reduced
to less then ten minutes, so the change
over time can be expressed in single
digits; thus, the name "Single Minute
Exchange of Dies"