Setup Reduction Program Offers 8 Positive Results

Setup reduction is the one discipline that every precision machining shop must master.


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Complete change-over and setup in under an hour is old news at Vanamatic.​


Here are eight positive impacts of a setup reduction for your precision machining shop from PMPA member company Vanamatic, who created the lean setup reduction video to show you the way.

1. Manufacturing Capacity. Setup reduction increases manufacturing capacity without adding people or machines. Doing more with less is the essential lesson of lean.

2. Scheduling. Standard (8-hour) setups are notorious for ending up 20 hours, which puts the machine in the hole before it starts. Setup reduction programs compress the bad setup times significantly, which also helps scheduling. Setup reduction increases on-time performance and builds customer loyalty.

3. Premium Time/Overtime. Setups gone wrong often require overtime hours to catch up.  Additional premium time is seldom required with a good setup reduction program.

4. Setup Skills. Good setups from scratch require the highest-skilled setup personnel; interchangeable tooling setups can be performed by operators.

5. Scrap and Defects. Setup scrap can be limited to a few pieces and bar ends. Ideal setup reduction programs generate a good piece on the first piece.

6. Machine Maintenance. Machine problems after setups from scratch occur frequently. Setup reduction programs with interchangeable tooling reduce the number of machine component adjustments, thus eliminating breakage caused by improper adjustment.

7. Tool Breakage. How often have you heard, “The tool broke because it was set wrong?” Quick-change/interchangeable setups eliminate breakage. They use tools that drop in or are preset outside the machine, resulting in setups and normal tool changes that seldom result in breakage because of improper settings.

8. Down and Waiting for Machine/Tool Components. Good setup reduction systems require that all tool and machine components be ready prior to the setup beginning. The best setup reduction programs store all tools and components in the machine area (not a crib) so the operator/setup people can prep for the next setup while the machine is running.

PMPA offers the Vanamtic Setup Reduction Case Study slides and video for a $500 donation to the PMPA Educational Foundation. The PMPA Educational Foundation awards grants to applying companies and individuals to further their skills training in the precision machining area.

These materials provide convincing evidence that lean setups are not just wishful thinking by showing actual people actually performing.

Originally posted on PMPA Speaking of Precision blog.