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Where will we start to improvement ?
Ağustos 12th, 2012-Lean Six Sigmaadmin 0 Comments

World and customer expectations change with a high speed. In order to keep up with this change, it is required to make continuous improvement and perpetuate it. That is to say, make continuous improvement philosophy widespread.

Well, where and how will we start continuous improvement process?

The answer is simple. You cannot fix and manage things you cannot see! That is why; we should increase our observing ability as a priority. Thus, WPO (Work Place Organization) and improvement process should be started.

WPO consists of “5S, Visual Management and Standard’’. In this article, I will mention about 5S and then visual management and standard.

When 5S is mentioned, most of us say: ‘I know, we already have it.’ However, limited number of companies has 5S system in real terms.

Why we use 5S which consists of ‘Select- Arrange- Delete- Standard and Appropriate’ processes?

The answer is to observe abnormalities. So, we use 5S in order to understand what is going on in production area and to observe target and actual work and to take action

First of all, you should start to work by separating unnecessary things from production area. It is not so much easy because most of people think something as valuable. They want to have something at their hands. The only important question is that where and how a material will be used. We should keep necessary things for a current work around ourselves and other things should be put a different place.

While we are eating in a restaurant, why do not all meals come together? Sooner or later we will all of them. Why does the soup come firstly and then main dish and dessert and coffee come?

If all of them come together, both we do not know what we will eat and there is an undesirable view in the table or there is no enough space for all of them. 5S is like it. What is necessary? Where and when is it necessary?

Do not feel sorry and say good-bye to unnecessary things in order to focus on necessary ones.

The second S which is ‘Arrange’ is to focus on necessary things completely. It is to separate materials according to their size and usage area. It is like to separate apples and pears.

Time is the most important thing. One of secret wastes in production is wastes of searching and waiting. There is a breakdown and the machine cannot work. You need a special bolt and work shop supervisor is sick and absent. You know that this bolt exists but you cannot find it. It is second S which is ‘Arrangement’. It is an application of the philosophy that each item has a place and is its own place.

Value all items and specify a permanent/stable place for them and keep them in only this place.

There are two main significant elements while material places are being determined:

-Material places should be determined according to 3E rule.

• Easy to find
• Easy to use
• Easy to put it back

- Area should be designed for maximum production.

After this process, the subject is ‘deleting’, in other words ‘cleaning.’ It means that each item is cleaned and put into true places and ready to use. A work place which is not clean is dirty in a simple meaning. Dirtiness is a huge problem and trigger for other problems. It has not a positive meaning both customers and employees. If everywhere is clean and tidy, problems can be realized easily and the possibility of making mistake decreases. There should be cleaning but the main idea is that material- equipment or device should be ready to next use.

Clean your all equipment, devices and the floors. Do it together at the first time and then ask people to keep their own areas clean.

As a profit from this process;

• When everything is clean and tidy, problems can be realized easily.
• When a material is clean, it is ready to use.
• If machines are not cleaned regularly, they are prone to break.

• While you are cleaning, you can find some deficiency.

• Customers are affected by a clean work place.

The first three S is almost easy. People do these processes excitedly and think that they make KAIZEN. In fact, 5S is not related with KAIZEN. The main process starts in 4th or 5th S. The first three S is easier than 4th and 5th S and as I said before, the main process starts here.

It is required to observe results of our performances, determine deficiencies and repair them. Thus, this situation should be made permanent. Otherwise, workings in the first three S go to waste and there is a reduction of people’s believes.

That is why, at the end of this process, you must be able to answer these questions:

• Do people realize the difference between ‘very few’ and ‘overmuch’?

• Do people realize the lack of a material?

• Do people realize disused or undefined materials?

• Why do unnecessary materials accumulate?
• Why do materials become lost or why are they put in a wrong place?

• Why does this area become dirty consistently?

These are what you should do in standardization process:

• All areas should be determined and marked with suitable color codes.
• For frequently used-materials, part number and maximum or minimum numbers should be determined.

• For waste materials, there should be a grouped waste container.

• Personal tool boxes should be decreases as much as possible and there should be drawers and closed shelves in work station.

• Factory area should be departmentalized and responsible people should be assigned for each department. These responsible people should work with a certain plan in their own departments in order to put standard into action.

‘Appropriate’ is the most difficult part of 5S. All standards should be preserved and continuity should be ensured. 5S is like a ball pen spring. When it is left after being pressed, it turns its old position. Therefore, at the end of 5S workings, discipline should be preserved.

In 5S activities, the support of top management is important so as to get results fast and provide cultural transformation. One of important steps of ‘appropriate’ process is that top management carries out a weekly 5S inspection together with factory and 5S department managers within a route. Therefore, all employees appropriate 5S by realizing the top management also pays attention to this subject.

The message of a factory to a customer who takes a walk in production area is very clear: ‘We care about you!’

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