Last update: April 16th, 2010
As 5S are fundamental prerequisite for Japanese industrial methods, implementing them in a formal way was a major project, from the start of our unit.
First step : Training managing staff
The first training was given to managers, foremen and line leaders. In addition to the course, frequent visits on the shop floor revealed numerous examples of lack of order, tidiness, but dust, obsolete parts or documents still lying around...
This was the moment to memorize initial status and
kick-off improvement ideas.
Those visits on the ground were invasions, as no drawer or closet was safe before inspectors, showing lack of personal 5S.
Second step : effective starting of 5S
Managers, foremen and line leaders taught the 5S spirit and techniques to their teams, top-down.
Once explanations given, first improvement ideas, enriched
with the new ones, from workers, technicians and employees, were given a
planning for action.
Over five months, one S per month, sections had to turn ideas (e.g: planned actions) into reality.
First actions consisted mainly in cleaning, sorting and marking inventory zones, corridors...
Progress and compliance to rules were monitored by a monthly 5S patrol.
Some managers, foremen or line leaders were entitled both as
responsible for 5S in their area and patrolman.
Patrol used evaluation sheets, based on the company rules.
At the end of each audit (patrol), evaluation sheets with notes and remarks were gathered and discussed.
The 5S committee chairman (Quality Insurance manager) gathered the sheets and calculated a global result. A chart with all results was finally displayed.
5S Improvement Requests could be issued to some responsible person, requesting a concrete answer to some specific point. This person should respond quickly, proposing a deadline for clearing that troublesome point.
Third step : turn 5S into daily task
When 5S were kicked-off and this system understood,
it was ready to be turned into regular job.
© Chris HOHMANN
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