From the Bottom Up: You and Your New 5S Program

5S guide and poster

2 min read Making the choice to implement a 5S program is making the choice to better your business as a whole. There are all kinds of benefits that a company can enjoy by entering into the world of 5S—a few of them being quality output of product, efficiency, and safety improvements. Using 5S not only increases your overall profit, but it also changes the safety culture for the better and makes employees happier. Your plan for implementing …

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Safety – The Last Pillar of 6S

Two safety workers meeting

2 min read Everyone knows how useful 5S is and how it transforms a messy workplace into something tidier and more productive. However, let’s remind ourselves of what goes into a well-rounded 5S program that is there to stay, rather than one that fizzles out and disappears. Sort/Seri is the first step in a workplace transformation which aims to sort out frequently used and unused equipment. Set in Order/Seiton aims to organize and place the more frequently used …

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Using 5S Tools to Keep a Clean and Efficient Workspace

clean workplace

3 min read 5S is used in all kinds of businesses ranging from occupations in manufacturing to office jobs. Its ubiquity is due to the relatively simple and cohesive application that results in greatly improved working conditions not only for employees but for the success of the company as a whole. Those improvements boil down to a spotless workspace that results in efficiency, improvements regarding safety, and the elimination of waste. Now, the five steps that 5S is …

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Mass Production & Lean: What’s the difference?

Assembly line of mass production

3 min read Mass production is not considered to be a Lean production method. At the height of its innovation however, it did effectively lower the unit cost of many goods and improved the efficiency of facilities. In the spirit of Lean and continuous improvement, it’s important to keep finding ways to improve the organization and over time, it was clear a better solution may exist. What is mass production? Since Henry Ford’s assembly line, mass production has …

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Foundational Concepts of Lean

foundational concepts of Lean

3 min read Lean manufacturing utilizes a number of strategies and tools to improve the business by boosting productivity and eliminating waste. The following are just a handful of the most common Lean tools, many have been adopted from manufacturing in Japan and the Toyota Production System . 5S (The Visual Workplace) 5S is a system of creating workplace organization to reduce/eliminate waste created by clutter, lack of information, duplication, underutilized space, inconsistency in processes, etc. Components of …

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Six Sigma Principles

Six sigma principles

3 min read The Six Sigma methodology is one that focuses on creating quality products and eliminating defects. Though Six Sigma is a vast idea that spans a number of Lean philosophies and methods, at its core, Six Sigma is driven by three principles: Process Improvement— Companies should take consistent action to eliminate root causes of deficiencies within its production processes. Process Design (or re-design)— Don’t be afraid to challenge, question, or revamp existing processes to be more …

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What is a Gemba Walk?

What is a Gemba walk

3 min read Gemba walks are an important concept in your Lean toolbox. Managers and business leaders go on  (“go and see”) walks to observe firsthand how the production line is operating. The Objective of a Gemba Walk In businesses, managers often look to company leaders for direction. The value created by a business, though, exists out on the work floor. By taking Gemba walks, managers can get ideas for improvement from the place where value is actually …

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The 5S Shine Pillar – Inspection and Maintenance

5S Shine Inspection and Maintenance

2 min read The third step of 5S is Seiso, a Japanese term translated to mean Shine. During Shine, workers are encouraged to do a deep cleaning of their space, ensuring there is no grime, dust, or oil spills remaining. However, it is important to remember that cleaning is not the only facet of this phase and that Shining also includes inspection and routine maintenance. While employees are completing the sanitization of their work cells, it is a …

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Using Kanban to Reduce Waste and Inventory

Reducing Inventory with Kanban

2 min read Utilizing the kanban system in your manufacturing facility can greatly reduce wastes, eventually adding value for the end customer. Kanban is commonly used in Lean manufacturing settings and JIT manufacturing settings, A kanban system utilizes visual cues to trigger specific actions, effectively cultivating a pull production system. What’s the difference between a pull system and a push system? Pull systems and push systems are two opposite approaches to production and supply chain management. Pull systems, …

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The Tools of Kaizen

3 min read Kaizen is the methodology and philosophy of making small continuous improvements in business. It can be both an ongoing daily commitment or be implemented in a series of short-term, rapid improvement events. This way of thinking involves employers from all levels and works to make small incremental changes in nearly every aspect of the workplace. There are many tools used in Kaizen and the following are just a few suggestion to introduce and practice effective …

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