Is The Entire Manufacturing Facility Neat, Orderly, Well-Lit and Quiet Enough So Workers Can Communicate?

Evaluating orderliness is one of the easiest ways to assess the effectivity of a plant. Manufacturing can be chaotic even at its best, but there’s no need to add to the chaos by allowing a mess. Messes cause waste — wasted time looking for parts and tools, wasted motion moving things around. It’s no coincidence that the “Five Ss” mantra of lean relates primarily to keeping order.

As a refresher, the Five Ss are:

Sort
Only things that are necessary to do the job should be stored in the work center. Everything else should be removed. As you evaluate your plant, consider whether your process includes time to remove and store unnecessary items at the end of a job. Less clutter increases productivity and reduces wasted time, and it enables workers to focus on the job at hand without distractions.

Set in Order
This can be thought of as “A place for everything, and everything in its place.” When you know where things belong and you make an effort to be sure to return things to their assigned place, it eliminates wasted time searching for what you need to complete a job. Putting like objects together also makes it easier to remember where to find things. Look for pegboards or bins for hand tools and jig storage, and similar items stored near each other.

Shine
Not only should everything be in its assigned location, but workstations as well as floors, walls and equipment should be clean. A clean workspace shows pride in the operation and helps motivate workers to produce quality products that delight customers.

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