Changeover Reduction is one of Lean’s major objectives is a reduction of lead time. To achieve this, the size of batches often needs reduction, which in turn, creates a focus on reducing changeover times- i.e, the time from the last piece of one batch to the first piece of the next batch. Changeover time can have several components; e.g, internal, when a machine is stopped, and external, which involves preparation. Other types of changeovers are manufacturing line changeover, maintenance operations, vehicle/aircraft loading/unloading and office operations.
The classic changeover is, of course, the Grand Prix pit stop! It’s important not only to reduce the mean change over time but also reduce its variability using a standardised process. Moving internal activities to external ones, when possible, permits more up time for a machine since the maximum amount of preparation is accomplished before it is stopped. Example applications for improving external activities are placing tools on a cart near a die and using colour codes to avoid confusion. Example for improving internal activities.
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