Tuesday, February 06, 2007

6S in the Frame Shop (Part 3)

Yesterday, I spent the entire day working with our 6S team on our improvement project. We began the day in a classroom where we did an orientation for the team members. First, our General Manager gave an overview of our Lean strategy for the entire factory, with a focus on the role of the 6S's. Then, I gave a quick training session on the 6S's and Lean (about 5 minutes in length). Next, our Safety Manager discussed each safety issue that is to be addressed as part of this 6S event. Then, we gave the team members folders that included: a hand-out detailing the 6S's, some rules of conduct, and a map of the frame shop area. We then went down to the shop floor and began planning:

1) Sort - We identified and red-tagged unneeded material. We just used red tape. Luckily, there was not a lot of material that needed to be removed.

2) Safety - We addressed the safety issues with the help of the maintenance department. Some items were handled immediately, and others were scheduled for completion during the two weeks leading up to the 6S event.

3) Set-In-Order - We planned how we would reorganize the storage of material to be more efficient. We decided to have well-marked assigned spaces for each type of material, along with standard labels that are easily visible to the material handlers. We also decided to move some material around to put it closer to the point of use. We made plans to reburbish the tool locker so that each tool would have its own clearly marked space.

4) Shine - We made a plan for cleaning and painting the entire area on the day of the event. We decided to add a metal plate to the wall in one area to protect it from repeated damage and discoloration due to the frame building process. We also made plans to refurbish a couple pieces of small equipment. Some of the large equipment will be refurbished during our annual renovation week in July when we have several days to do the work.

5) Standardize - We set aside one area of the department to be a "resource center" for the associates. This area will include a visual control board for 6S upkeep, a standard work folder, and visuals of key installations.

6) Sustain - We have a bulletin board that we will use to post before & after photos, results from cycle time improvements, and other positive information. Additionally, we are including every Team Leader and Supervisor in the plant on the day of the event. They will receive an orientation to the 6S's and will then participate all day in the frame shop. Hopefully, this will allow each of them to see the results from the event and give them some ideas for their own areas.

After we developed our plan of attack, we wrote our ideas down on a large 3'x4' map of the area. Next, we brought our GM back in and gave him a summary of our plans using the large map as a visual guide. Then, we reviewed our pre-event assignments and our strategy for the day of the event. Finally, we agreed to meet again in a week to do a status check and make any needed plan adjustments.

I'll update you as we get closer to the event.

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