SMED at rubber extrusion line

Prize: 7.000 €

Status: completed


Our client is a company devoted to the production of sealing systems for the automotive industry. The company’s objectives include a continuous improvement in terms of product quality, cost efficiency and customer service levels.

The challenge 

Flexibility is a must-have in the automotive industry. As a result all companies invest in enabling a quick set-up of their manufacturing lines.

Our client has also been improving in this area, however now they would like to progress even more. This is the reason why they are proposing this challenge to further reduce the set-up time of one of their rubber extrusion lines. 

Attached to this challenge you can find detailed information about the set-up process:

  • High level Gantt chart with the activities and timings
  • Pictures of setup toolings and manufacturing u-shape with distances
  • Extrusion line machine identification

In addition, participants will receive a video with the full set-up process. The video will be sent through big file to participants' email address.

The video shows 4 operators but also a 5th support person. This support person does not always participate in the set-up process.

Current setup time is 36 min. (as shown in the Gantt chart and videos)

What the client is looking for

This challenge is looking for reducing the set-up times* of the full rubber extrusion line with a reasonable investment in new tooling or equipment. 

Future setup process should be performed primarily with the same current operators (4), although, if required, it would be acceptable to consider some additional support (like the 5th operator) to reach the target reduction.

This is a 3 rounds tournament with the following expected submissions:

First round

A 2 pages PDF document describing how you can reduce the set-up time under 20 min.

  • Technical measures, impacted activities and expected reduction
  • Organizational measures, impacted activities and expected improvement
  • Feasibility evidences (if applicable) to support your recommendations

Second round

A MS Excel document based on the attached Gantt chart template including:

  • Detailed current and future set-up activities with start and end time
  • Technical measures to reduce the time of the activities in the To Be process
  • Estimation of investments and high level specifications

Third round

  • Clarifications on the To Be process and proposed investments

(*) Setup time refers to the elapsed time between the completion of the last product in the old series and the completion of the first good product in the new series.

Evaluation criteria

The evaluation criteria in each of the rounds of the tournament for the proposed solutions are: 

1. Target Set-up Time

  • Target setup time for changing the line should be less than 20 min. with the lower number of operators.

2. Required investment 

  • Required investment in tools and machinery to enhance current set-up times should be below 52 K€. 

3. Feasibility of the proposed solution

  • Existing solutions or tools (e.g. solutions used in other SMED projects). 


This is a 3 Rounds tournament:

1st round: 5 weeks + 1 week for evaluation

2nd round: 2 weeks + 1 week for evaluation

3rd round: 1 weeks + 1 week for evaluation

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    Good Luck!