Checklist to reduce changeover time by 30%

Changeover expert Jerry Claunch of Claunch & Associates shares 18 years of changeover improvements with the checklist below that promises to yield a 30% improvement in your current changeover setups.

It should be noted that the information below is actually Step 4 in a holistic approach that Claunch uses to reduce changeover time and increase machinery efficiency. Claunch says that “this list is not intended to be the only improvements you make, but they can be made very quickly with low cost while you are determining other improvements you will make to your changeovers.”

Don't Start Until You Are Prepared to Succeed

Too often companies see the benefits of improvements, such as faster setup time, and are too quick to start. Remember that improvement takes time, which too often causes companies to simply let the improvement die out. The most common cause of failure is management's lack of commitment.

If you answer yes to these questions, your company is ready to begin.

1. Is reducing setup time vital to your company's success?

2. Are you willing to spend time every week examining improvement possibilities and implementing them?

3. Are you willing and able to support this effort daily?

4. Are you determined to make setup time reduction a reality in your company?

Implement the 30% Reduction List

You are now ready to begin the setup time reduction process. While reducing setup time is not difficult, it does take time, effort, and money. In order to use your money effectively, it is recommended that you begin with this listing of reduction possibilities, because they all are low-cost improvements that will help your company reduce setup time by approximately 30%. These items can be implemented initially and will free up production capacity.


  • Hand Tools Make sure hand tools are always available, prior to starting the setup. Shadows--silhouettes painted of the tool location on a pegboard, for example--at the storage location of hand tools needed for setup clearly identifies missing tools. This alone is a simple and effective way to know if setup hand tools are available.

  • Fasteners At every machine, prepare plenty of every fastener that is needed for setup.

  • Change parts Move all change parts to the machine while the machine is running.

  • Cleaning of change parts All parts should be cleaned while not in use while the machine is still producing.

  • Maintenance of change parts None of these items used to setup should require any maintenance during setup. Establish a procedure that ensures that items needing maintenance work are tended to before the setup begins.

  • Lubricants, chemicals, and solvents Like all other items needed to complete a setup, these should be conveniently available when needed.

  • Guard removal Removing guards typically requires the time-consuming removal of fasteners that can get damaged or lost. Install “one-quarter turn” fasteners on all guards.

  • Scrap and rework Scrap and rework should not be accepted during changeover. Install process control to ensure that the cause of scrap and rework is identified and eliminated.

  • Setup procedures Develop written setup procedures at every machine.

  • Deliver the change parts in kits or by cart Develop a system to deliver all change parts in preassembled kits.

  • Standard tooling Implement wherever possible.

  • Standard routing Implement standardized routing procedures of documents and other materials wherever possible.

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