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IMPLEMENTING 5S METHODOLOGY PROGRAMS IN MANUFACTURING FACILITIES

HOW DO YOU EAT AN ELEPHANT? ONE BITE AT A TIME.

Implementing 5S manufacturing is a lot like that, but with way less than a foreign government trying to arrest you for poaching. Trust me from experience, implementing 5S may seem like a mountain to climb but it’s much, much less difficult to implement than you may think.

EXECUTING A 5S PLAN

We picked our woodshop area to focus on. We defined the work space that we would organize, and took pictures for a before and after comparison. The first of the 5-S’s was to SORT. Before we jumped to trying to find a place for everything in the mess we had, we sorted out the tools and materials that didn’t belong there. That left us with just what was needed in the workspace.

Next: Setting things in order by STRAIGHTENING them. We thought about how often certain tools were being used, who would be using them, and where they were being used. Whereas before all these tools were in a pile on a table, now we had started to implement an organization process for them. We decided a peg board would serve as a shadow board for commonly used hand tools, which would give us quick access and make it easy to see if everything was there. We used yellow bins to hold nuts and bolts there and mounted the bins as well. We saw that we could add a power receptacle for chargers and added drawers with dividers to hold less often used tools and supplies.

Now that we had a vision of what we wanted and where we wanted it, we had Strong Hold design a shop table that would give us exactly what we needed. They designed a table with a peg board back stop, bin holders, drawers with dividers, and a power plug. Oh, and while we were at it, we had it painted a special color that identified our wood shop work area. Once we had the shop table on our shop floor, we had exactly what we needed in the spot we needed it. Visual management became an easy task. This made the fifth S—SUSTAIN—very simple. Now, years later, we still have confidence that our tools and materials are always in the right place.

Author: Dannis Hughbanks

Position: Vice President of Manufacturing

Company: Strong Hold Products

Contact Info: dannish@strong-hold.com