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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Understanding Lean Principles

2 min read The lean manufacturing philosophy centers around five guiding concepts which are used to drive the behaviors of an organization. These five principles can help people at all levels of a company to understand what it is they should be doing and how it should be done. Of course, these lean principles aren’t going to layout the specifics of someone’s job, but rather give instruction on how the specifics of a job should be determined. The …

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Heijunka – Creating Flow

2 min read The word Heijunka is often used in the manufacturing industry, and it means sequencing, or smoothing of production. The idea behind this term is to help absorb sudden fluctuations or changes in the demand of the market. This is often done by producing several different models of a product, in smaller production batches. In practice, this helps to eliminate waste in a variety of ways. It helps to make the work which is done more standardized, and …

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Changeover – Creating Flow and Eliminating Waste

2 min read For those in the manufacturing industry, changeover is a term which is used when talking about converting a particular machine, or a line from creating one product to another. The most well known example of this would be in the automotive industry where it is necessary to do a changeover when updating to a new make or model. Depending on what is being made, changeover can take anywhere from a few minutes to several weeks. …

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How to Organize Your Shop: Try 5S

3 min read Are you needing some organization in your workshop?  Do you spend more time trying to find tools and supplies and less time actually working? Are you hoping to improve your efficiency and cut your waste down?  Would doing all of this help to improve quality to the customer and possibly even reduce prices? Well, you are starting to find yourself approaching the tenets of something many in the manufacturing industry have studied and implemented for …

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