Streamline Your Production Changeovers in Sequence Using the Setup Matrix

  • by David Newick, Lead Consultant, Morse
  • June 15, 2008
Discover how to use a setup matrix to reduce changeover time and simplify your production sequence.
Key Concept
The setup matrix is a simple table that determines the amount of time lost when changing the production equipment among different groups of products. Two key elements, setup category group and setup group, define the two levels of changeover groupings. You can use the setup matrix in the SAP graphic planning board to determine an optimum sequence for a mixed group of production or planned orders on a single production line that has a finite capacity and can only make one product at a time.

If you are a project team member responsible for designing or supporting production planning in SAP ERP, you know that time lost changing processes from one product to another is expensive. Reductions in changeover time can yield significant dollar savings and business benefits. You can use the setup matrix to help plan your production changeovers in sequence, thus minimizing configuration time during changeovers and increasing your organization’s efficiency.

Changeover times can be lengthy when products require careful production sequencing, such as a mix of organic and non-organic products or when product groups require a complex reconfiguration of the production line. This is often due to unique size, shape, or process complexity. For example, changing container sizes requires intricate reconfiguration of the production line and consequently extends changeover times.

Strong colors, such as white and dark chocolate, or strong flavors, such as mint, can also lead to elaborate changeovers in a production line. By defining a setup matrix, you can logically schedule a set of planned orders proposed by materials requirements planning or production orders that need to use a particular production line. For example, production orders could arise automatically from make-to-order sales orders. Based on the product mix of these orders and the current configuration for the product being made right now, SAP ERP can calculate a sequential production plan with the minimum total changeover time between the different products. This process is typically performed with the graphic planning board in SAP ERP.

David Newick

David Newick has nine years of experience as a PP and QM consultant and currently is a lead consultant at Morse. Morse is an international consulting company, offering clients specialist business and IT advice and helping them execute for maximum benefit. David lives in Glastonbury, Somerset.

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