There are many ways in which companies can address the challenges related to the uncertainty of post-COVID times and support supply continuity. One of the most interesting methods is a rapid production line changeover, which is considered to be a true game changer for process manufacturers in today’s competitive (and unpredictable) economy.
What is the rapid production line changeover about?
- It’s a company’s ability to rapidly change its manufacturing line, to switch from one product to another and to allow for cost-effective low-volume production runs and to turn out custom-made goods on demand in locations of its choosing.
- It’s a direct response to constantly and rapidly changing expectations of consumers in terms of diverse and innovative products.
- Rapid changeover is an important component of lean manufacturing, as time spent resetting the production line is time wasted.
- The reduction of machine setup times enables the production of small batches and decreases lead time (the period of time between a buyer’s purchase order being placed and the manufacturer completing the order).
- Changeover is a key precondition for increased flexibility, reduced lead time and responsive production.
- It’s related to Single Minute Exchange of Die (SMED) method which guarantees a continuous flow of the product without any loss of performance.
The biggest challenge in this respect is how to sharply reduce changeover time. Forward-looking companies look for ways to speed up the production line changeover process and eliminate any and all operational errors resulting from the manual setting of numerous parameters. Where instant changeover can be achieved, it results in an extremely flexible solution, allowing for significant savings of time and money.
As always, modern technological solutions are crucial to achieving a competitive advantage in this area.