Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to uncover the significance of quick changeovers in the packaging line of a pharmaceutical company. Using an integration of different lean practices, the study aims to reduce the batch change and changeover time up to 50 per cent, increasing overall equipment effectiveness by 25 per cent. Design/methodology/approach – The paper gives setup instructions and guidelines for preparing the standardized setup procedure without ignoring the actual constraints in a pharmaceutical company. It uses a case study to generate an integrated setup reduction approach, utilizing single-minute exchange of die tools (SMED) in combination with suppliers, inputs, process, outputs and customers (SIPOC), Kanban, 5S techniques and Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) indexes to achieve faster setups. Findings – The SMED approach helps the pharmaceutical company to eliminate unwanted activities and to externalize and reduce the internal activities by simplification or standardization. The application of other tools, such as 5S and Kanban tool-kits, allowed the company to optimize the process and reduce the standard deviation of the changeover times. Good manufacturing practice (GMP) procedures of the pharmaceutical sector limit the conversion of internal setup elements to external setup elements. Originality/value – The paper demonstrates the practical application of SMED, showing how it can bring real breakthroughs in productivity to a pharmaceutical company. Moreover, in this work, we highlight the importance of an integration of different lean practices to reduce variation in the changeover time. In particular, the standardization of setup tasks and the increased reliability in the material supply chain, in addition to reducing the changeover mean time can also reduce the standard deviation of the setup process time.
Assembly Automation – Emerald Publishing
Published: Feb 2, 2015
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