Benefits of Reducing Machine Setup Time
Setup time refers to the period of time that is required to prepare a machine for its next run after it has completed producing the last part of the previous run.
So why should you focus on reducing the setup portion of your manufacturing process instead of focusing on reducing the overall run time?
Although decreasing run times reduces overall lead times, shortened setup times will reduce your organization’s manufacturing costs as well as increase your flexibility to meet customer demands.
Typically, there are four main steps to the setup process; preparation, exchanging, positioning, and gauging. The preparation stage encompasses gathering the appropriate tools for the next job, which means having your technicians scurrying around your facility for any misplaced tools and operating instructions. After the required tools are finally found, the old parts need to be exchanged for the new ones. Once mounted, these tools typically must go through various repositioning and calibration exercises to ensure that they are properly situated.
The longest stage of the setup process before your machine can begin to make you revenue is gauging. Although you already did calibration, you find that you need to recalibrate, there are incorrect materials being used, your tools are missing or broken, etc. After a dozen of test runs and adjustments, you finally feel your machine is good to go and so begins your machine’s run time. This whole setup process has left you with immense amounts of downtime that can’t be recovered, even if you cut your run time in half.
Not yet convinced that you should be focusing on reducing setup time instead of run time? The following are additional benefits:
1. Shorter lead time and increased capacity
2. Capital equipment purchases avoided or delayed
3. Better quality and more consistent processes
4. Lower manufacturing costs and improved cash flow
5. Less inventory
6. Increased flexibility to meet client demands
7. Better utilization of your workforce
8. Less process variability
One of the key steps for reducing your setup times deals with implementing an ERP system. Through this, you will be able to capture accurate setup data that will help you understand your current processes. This technology will play a large role in helping you reduce the time the ‘gauging’ stage of the setup process takes.
Interested in learning more about setup processes and the key steps you should be taking to reduce setup time? Click below to download a printable version of our guide.