What is Setup Time?

Discussion of the different components of setup time during a manufacturing operation.

In order to begin a detailed look into quoting and estimating I’m going to start by giving some definitions.

Setup Time

Setup time is the time it takes to make the first accepted piece which includes bringing all the tools, jigs and fixtures, setup those jigs and fixtures for a particular batch quantity.   Operation run time or cycle time, is the time spent to complete each unit through the machine.

Setup time can be simple or complex and it really depends on the process being performed.   Setup time is usually independent of the actual run time because once a machine is setup it can be continually run without setting the machine up a second time.  Setup time can actually be broken down into a few categories.

Staging Time

The time required to gather materials, dies or any other equipment required to get the machine running.   Staging can potentially be performed during the running of another job through the machine because it may not actually require the machine to be available.   A simple definition is time spent on a machine or process prior to a manufacturing run.

Setup Time

The time required to bring this production batch quantity to an actionable state.

Transit Time

Transit time is the time to move a particular batch quantity to another step in the process.

Tear Down Time

The time required to remove all the equipment that was required to be setup on the machine making it ready for the next process.   A job may continue to the next operation during the tear down time because this time does not affect the actual job, only the machine.   A simple definition is the time to take down a machine or process after a manufacturing run.

Quoting and ERP packages should provide the capability for these setup time variations in order to allow your estimating , costing and even scheduling to be as accurate as possible.



Author: MIE Solutions

David Ferguson has over 20 years of experience in the manufacturing and fabrication industry. David Ferguson has been to over 100 manufacturing companies helping and guiding them to be more efficient and cost effective. As a child in Junior High School David Ferguson found a passion for the early computer systems, which would drive much of his future work. David Ferguson created and sold his first computer program, Arrow Data Systems, which was an early CAD/CAM system for the Apple 2e Computer. In the late 1980's after seeing his father (a sheet metal manufacturer) come home many nights estimating, David Ferguson saw an opportunity to optimize his effort through computer technology. Shortly thereafter the FabriTRAK Production Control package was developed. The Quote It! estimating package was developed out of the FabriTRAK system to become one of the leading sheet metal estimating packages in the world. David Ferguson has always had a passion for developing software to make the manufacturing process simpler, faster and more efficient. Prior to founding MIE Solutions David Ferguson worked with his father at Alco Sheet Metal, METALSOFT Inc. and was a consultant at Toyota Motors Sales. David Ferguson has his Masters in Computer Science and Mathematics from California State University, Long Beach.

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