Setup Reduction

As part of a comprehensive set of lean quality management tools, setup reduction can lower your organization’s overhead costs and improve your ability to meet customer needs. It does this in part by allowing you to reduce lot sizes, which in turn eliminates excess inventory and allows for greater flexibility in filling special orders. The consultants at Lean Synergy International (LSI) can help your organization achieve monumental reductions in setup times so that you can enjoy a leaner, more profitable workflow.

Setup reduction is defined as “the reduction of the amount of downtime during changeover from the last good piece of one order to the first good piece of the next order.”

By minimizing downtime on the manufacturing floor, your organization can enjoy:

  • A reduction of WIP
  • Increased flow
  • Elimination of known bottlenecks
  • Support for the mixed model environment
  • Shorter lead times
  • Lower labor costs

Even more importantly, achieving faster setup times will allow you to grow your customer base by accommodating more low-volume, high-variety orders.

Lean Consulting and Setup Reduction

Many people tend to look at setup reduction as one of the less important quality management tools in the lean consulting toolbox. This is a mistake, albeit an understandable one. The perception that larger lot sizes = lower unit costs = greater profits is not entirely unfounded. And if the key benefit to setup reduction is the ability to decrease lots sizes, then what’s the urgency?

The answer is that a great deal of waste can be eliminated by shortening setup times, and eliminating waste is at the very heart of lean principles. Every time your organization conquers another area of waste, it is that much closer to achieving a total lean transformation.

Strengthening Your Team with Setup Reduction

LSI Consulting will partner with your team to improve setup times on the manufacturing floor. The process begins with extensive documentation and analysis of your current system and ends with setups that are faster, run more smoothly and with greater predictability than ever before. As previously mentioned, faster, easier setups allow for smaller lot sizes, which in turn lead to more frequent changeovers. One of the outstanding by-products of this cycle is that your team’s skills and confidence increase with every setup they complete.

Launch Your Company’s Lean Transformation Today

While setup reduction may not be the first step in your company’s lean transformation, it will be a very important one. Without it, your lean strategy could get highjacked by bottlenecks, excess WIP and long delays on the manufacturing floor. LSI can help you avoid the pitfalls of extended setup times and bring your entire workflow into alignment with lean principles. To learn more about what LSI can do for your company, contact us for a quote.