SRD Series: Introduction

Developing a process for creating job changeover efficiency is becoming more important by the day. Job change over needs to be optimized and is imperative to a profitable die-cutting process.   

At SRD Steel Rule Dies Inc, we are well aware of the importance of this and believe that our job as your die maker is to assist and be a contributor to an optimized die cutting department. 

How To Make Improvements In Die-Cutting Job Change Over

In a multi-part blog series, we’ll discuss different aspects of the job change process and highlight the key strategies and techniques to apply in achieving efficiency. 

Through this series, we will show how your die maker is an integral part of this process and provide examples of how SRD assists with their customers.

Discussion topics will include:

  • Documenting current processes,
  • 1 vs. 2 Person Teams,
  • Offline vs Inline steps,
  • Workspace Organization,
  • Make ready tools and Press maintenance
  • Steel rule die performance.

Recording Your Current Die-Cutting Job Change Over Process

The first step to improve any manufacturing process is to get a real understanding of where we are now.

We require observations and measurable details to help provide a focused contrast once modifications have been implemented.

Our recommendations are to create a baseline by recording the job change over process on 1) video and 2) having someone document each step of the process through detailed note taking.

Record the time taken for each step, add a simple description, and identify if it was done internally (the press must be stopped) or externally ( around the perimeter of the press) 

We’ve provided a worksheet with examples to help you get started.


This sheet will give all participants something to clearly discuss, and will also help to quickly identify some quick and simple improvements that can be made immediately.

Create a small team that includes your die maker and internal staff from both the inflow and outflows of the die-cutting process.  Job change over efficiency is not limited to activities on the press, some efficiencies can be achieved from simple modifications to process or information coming upstream before the job is on the shop floor.  Working with these departments with this process will always allow a better understanding and identify how each department can assist with these efficiency goals

Proven Die-Cutting Job Change Over Improvements

The concept of identifying room for efficiencies by recording the step-by-step process isn’t unique to SRD.

In 2009, Charles Armendariz of the Rochester Institute of Technology completed research focused on determining whether specific process improvement methodologies performed in a Kaizen event could reduce the overall make ready process in a platen die-cutting operation. 

Research Results

Upon initial observations, the operator performed the job changeover of 86 steps in 1 hour 18 minutes. 

Significant reductions to the makeready procedure were identified during post analysis: steps were reduced by 29% from 86 to 61 and the time was reduced by 40% from 1 hour 18 minutes to 40 minutes. 

This kind of improvement is certainly attainable by most and I believe can be surpassed if taken on as a team effort with emphasis on lasting sustainable actions.

Ready To Get Started?

It is our goal at SRD Steel Rule Dies Inc. to offer comprehensive insights and solutions to improve a lean manufacturing process, including:

  • Reduced Press Set-up Times
  • Increased Press Performance
  • Improve Time to Market
  • Waste Reduction
  • Lower Production Costs
  • Increased Labor Productivity

Follow along with this blog series to learn how you can improve change-over efficiencies — without all of the heavy details you’ll find in the Rochester Institute of Technology report. 

Feel free to contact me directly with any questions or comments.

Thanks for reading!