Every manufacturer wants their product to be produced at a world-class level, and 6S is one of tool that can help achieve this goal. Lean manufacturing is an essential tool, especially for production facilities. Introducing Lean manufacturing can significantly reduce waste and enhance quality and delivery. From United Equipment Accessories’ (UEA) experience, the 6S system has been the foundation for all Lean activities.
Steps of the 6S:
- Safety: Develop safety procedure for organization.
- Sort: Evaluate area to make list of the items required in specific area and remove all unnecessary items from the area.
- Set to order: Designate a spot for items when not in use.
- Shine: Keep your area, tooling, and instruments clean and well arranged. Implement systems for regular inspection, calibration, and maintenance for all machines and equipment.
- Standardize: Create standard procedures to maintain and sustain the first 4S steps.
- Sustain: Motivate employees to maintain the procedures. Create tools to check for progress and maintenance of standards.
Implementing the 6S system can be challenging, but if you keep up with the process, the culture will progressively evolve.
Here are some recommendations that UEA identified as we have implemented 6S:
- Identify the areas that need improvements. Outline all concerns and possible solutions.
- Based on concerns, identify the best team members to help solve concerns, generally someone who is familiar with process, someone who is new to the process, a team to facilitate and a team leader who can make decisions related to cost and changes.
- Select one area as your priority. Start with an area with a simple problem, so the team can learn how to implement the process and later use that experience in a more complicated area.
- Create and execute an audit and take detailed notes.
- Take pictures or video to document process.
- Assign tasks to the appropriate team member with due dates and follow-up actions.
UEA is continually working to fine tune our manufacturing operation and stream line our processes. We hope that by implementing the 6S system, we will be able to identify and address concerns with our team members.