Although true SMED (Single Minute Exchange of Dies) is not likely for all molders, significant reductions in mold change time using the same principles are easily attainable.
Question: Is SMED realistic?
My Response: The underlying benefits to the SMED concept is the preparation. Essentially everything necessary to change a mold is already there and ready and easily accessible. This way the mold can be shut down when the run is done, the changeover can take place, and the new mold is up and running in the shortest time possible. Essentially, if you have to waste time looking for paperwork, finding a hose, replacing a connector, locating a thermolator, checking water lines, verifying hot runner systems, etc. you cannot attain an optimal mold change time. All the work is done before the machine is shut down so you attain the maximum efficiency when the machine is not making parts (ie. the company is losing money).