Document Type : Research Paper


1 650 Clair Harris Road Bldg. M, Room 113

2 650 Clair Harris Road Bldg. M, Room 112


In a Lean production environment, reduced setup times can lead to many benefits, including reduced lead times. Previous research has primarily relied on the SMED methodology and mathematical modeling to reduce setup times at machine centers – and both are very useful techniques. We use the Soft Systems Methodology, combined with the Seven Tools of Quality, to provide a structured, illustrative means for diagnosing production and quality issues. A baseline average setup time was established by which future setup times would be compared. The intervention included brainstorming sessions between management and the converting center work crew that disclosed many reasons for increased setup times, some of which were under management’s control. Our findings resulted in a 24% reduction in average setup times and a 62% reduction in the moving range at a bottleneck machine center in the corrugated box industry.


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