A changeover phase consists of changing the set-up of one process to another. For example, one product has been manufactured but now it’s time to make or package something else. Ensuring that changeover phases are streamlined can help to improve efficiency.
In a perfect world, the changeover would happen instantaneously, however, this is never the case. In fact, changeovers can be very complicated and result in a lot of wasted time.
When a changeover occurs there is a disruption in the way of working. This disruption can result in the loss of parts that would have otherwise been produced. You could also lose parts when you’re ramping up and ramping down.
Before ramping down takes place there production of goods is usually at full-speed. Depending on what is being manufactured, the changeover phase may include a ramping down of the process. In many cases, this can happen very quickly. However, there are also cases where ramping down can take a lot of time. It is, therefore, very possible that the production rate will decrease slowly. There might also be an issue with quality as the process will not be operating at full capacity.
This is the main part of the changeover phase and this occurs when the production process has stopped. During this stage, nothing is produced. It is, therefore, essential to ensure this phase is as short as possible.
This part of the changeover phase is much more common than the ramp-down phase. However, it can take some time before production is back to full speed. This might be because:
During ramping up, fewer parts are usually made than they are when production is normal. This is where many production losses take place.
Ideally, you should do as much as you possibly can before and after the changeover takes place. This is so that losses are reduced. Before the changeover takes place you will need to make sure you have the equipment, tools, and people-power before you begin to ramp down.
Once the changeover is complete, you can wrap it up. Wrapping up the changeover consists of placing the equipment and tools that were needed back where they belong. Alternatively, you might want to get them ready for the next changeover phase.
It is necessary to increase the number of quality checks that take place. This is to ensure that the whole process runs smoothly and good parts are produced. These checks tend to take place when machinery is not yet running at its full speed. The increased amount of quality checks might extend beyond the changeover so that any problems are caught and dealt with.
Changeover phases usually have a number of steps but it’s important to look to improve them so waste can be reduced. Preparing for a changeover while the machinery is in full production can save time. Wrapping up after the changeover can also help.