We have been using Lean tools and methods at Meconet for 15 years. In our experience, if used systematically and adapted to our needs, Lean is an aid enhancing well-being at work in many ways. Practical utilisation of tools chosen is at the heart of everything.
One of the Lean tools or methods we use is called SMED (Single Minute Exchange of Die) analysis. In short, it is a method aimed at minimising set-up and downtime, which has been important for us in many ways.
Time for things that matter
SMED also enhances work comfort and agility, which not only speeds up production, but also increases capacity and reduces costs. If products are switched several times a day in production, the time spent making the required settings becomes a decisive factor. Saving time also means cost savings for our customers. Because of this, SMED ultimately benefits everyone.
SMED analysis is carried out in production next to the machine, together with production experts, which enables quick results and changes. The settings are recorded on video and the options available during production and after the machines have stopped are analysed. The changes can be small, but still important. We are always looking for the best possible approach to production. In this case, we can leverage the skills of experienced employees and share information with everyone.
Interaction and Team Spirit between Plants
Sharing information between plants is important. We have utilised the experience and know-how of different plants by bringing people from all plants together to conduct SMED analysis, but also to see how other plants operate. The next SMED analysis will focus on the servo-controlled deep-drawing press at our Äänekoski plant, which will once again allow us to learn new things that enhance work efficiency and comfort.
In addition to specific benefits, the approach strengthens the team spirit and the sense of belonging of different work groups and improves internal communication, which is of key importance for a company like Meconet.
Getting better every day
Naturally, development work takes time and is never finished, but the ideology of continuous improvement is at the core of everything at Meconet. Because of this, as a part of the Lean philosophy, SMED analysis is an important component of Meconet’s present and future.
The most important in Lean philosophy is making sure new things become standardised and permanent in work. This spurs Meconet and our people to be better every day. Development of the company is a precondition for securing work in the future as well. Because of this, SMED is also in the interests of everyone at Meconet.