Shine and clean process equipment and area. Whenever equipment is in production mode or down, wipe and clean it and the area.
The fourth step of 5-S is Standardize. It consists of defining the doctrine by which all people will maintain orderly and clean processes. People need to play a major role in the development of the standards. Their feedback helps define the best way to balance employee 5-S activities with production concerns. Keep employees informed by making the standards visible. Cleaning and organization standards based on 5-S need to be clearly displayed around the workplace.
The last step of 5-S, Sustain, truly means “discipline.” To Sustain is to commit to maintain cleanliness and orderliness in all process areas and to practice the first four “S’s” as a way of daily life in the facility. This is by far the most difficult of the 5-S’s to implement and achieve. We all tend to resist change, and even the most well-structured 5-S plan will fail if not constantly reinforced. Fortunately, there are effective methods of sustaining positive growth. Begin by asking relevant questions: Are 5-S goals measurable?
Such a goal may be to “pass inspections five months in a row.” It is important to find visible ways to measure the progress, perhaps by printing posters or signs as important quotas are met. Typically, employees benefit by easy access to label and sign-making systems.
Finally, ways must be found to emphasize the positive results. Make sure no one forgets the significance of the goals. Sustaining newly changed behavior isn’t easy. As associates grow into the 5-S system, they will find it energizing and fulfilling. Go the extra mile to make sure the facility is prepared to continually observe 5-S standards.
5-S Success will depend on implementation throughout the entire facility. All employees must become involved and participate. 5-S transformation becomes established routines. 5-S implementation beginning in one process will typically cause people working in other processes to ask, “When are we going to do that?”
Lean Manufacturing Assessment Tool
To get insight into the state of Lean implementation and to allow companies to compare their progress to other companies, we’ve developed the industry’s first Lean Manufacturing Assessment Tool. The assessment is comprised of 13 areas, from a company’s culture to its approach to makeready reduction. In each area, company executives choose the statement that best describes their company. Upon completion, companies can view how all other companies have responded. While simple in nature, the assessment will cause companies to think about their operation and its potential for improvement in ways they probably haven’t before. Visit http://prnt.in/lean to take the online assessment.
Continuous Improvement Conference
Printing Industries of America, in partnership with Flexographic Technical Association, conducts the yearly Continuous Improvement Conference, dedicated to showing executives and managers how to achieve operational excellence through Lean Manufacturing and other improvement systems. The 2012 Continuous Improvement Conference will be held April 1-4, in St. Louis, MO. To learn more about the Continuous Improvement Conference, visit www.printing.org/ciconference.
Jim Workman is the assistant vice president, Technology and Research, for Printing Industries of America. Contact him at email@example.com. Learn more about Printing Industries of America at www.printing.org.