Case Studies

SMED - Setup Time Reduction

Type of Industry:

Mechanical engineering



Duration (total / actual consulting days):

1 Month / 3 Days

Company Targets:

SMED: reduced setup time; increased flexibility


Reduction of setup time by 70% (240 minutes → 72 minutes)

Status quo (outlined):

  • Machine cuts, grinds and mills parts from bar stocks.
  • Large batch sizes, to reduce the number of setups → company focuses on maximum capacity utilization
  • Machines are stopped during the entire setup process.
  • The setup process is performed by one employee.

Actions planned by the company:

None. Large batch sizes (causing high WIP (work in process; inventories)) are considered ideal.

Master plan by SYNCRO EXPERTS:

Reduction of setup times by at least 50%.


  • Recording of every single step of a setup process including the respective time increments
  • Visualization of the current state
  • Separation of internal setup operations (require the machine to be stopped) and external setup operations (can be performed during machine operation)
  • Conduction of the ECRS analysis (Eliminate, Combine, Rearrange, Simplify)
  • Involvement of the machine operators as experts
  • Development of a masterplan
  • Implementation of the optimized setup process according to the masterplan
  • Trial run
  • Go live


Initially: A number of setup steps have been rearranged, to be performed as external setup operations (can be performed with the machine still running) → Setup time reduction by 55%

Further Optimization: A second machine operator assists during the setup process → Setup time reduction by a total of 70%

Your Contact:

Thomas Schneider



+ 49 441-361 85 222