In the first of our Lean blog series, we discussed Lean 101 and how it can benefit a manufacturer. But what does it mean to actually apply those principles in an everyday setting? What schools of thought exist, and how do they differ from one another?
Among the most widely accepted methodologies in Lean manufacturing is 5S, a philosophy that emphasizes the idea of ownership through organization of materials and process standardization. It is most effective when applied in a systematic way and enables employees to maintain the ideal efficiency and effectiveness of their workspace.
While qualities find in 5S can be traced back to Venice shipbuilders in the 16th century, the approach we take today originated in Japan with the Toyota Production System (TPS) and Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) standards. Because of its efficiency, 5S experienced a universal boom by the 1980s, changing the state of manufacturing in the modern world and allowing an influx of goods to be produced.
The principles of 5S were formed using five Japanese terms – later translated into English – that emphasized the importance of eliminating waste. This step-by-step process is based on improving production as well as enhancing quality of work and decreasing the frequency of workplace accidents.
The phases of 5S consist of the following:
1. Sort (seiri) – Organizing materials and removal of unnecessary items (waste)
2. Straighten (seiton) – Establishing orderly workplace to prevent time-wasting and ensure smooth workflow
3. Shine (seiso) – Maintaining cleanliness to keep environments safe and functional
4. Standardize (seiketsu) – Making tasks uniform and keeping high standards
5. Sustain (shitsuke) – Implementing of effective processes, goal-oriented training, and audits
Over time, these five steps expanded into other methodologies such as 6S, 5C, and CANDO. However, the tenants of 5S remain a mainstay of Lean and continue to be applied to manufacturing around the world.
How does 5S work for a real company?
An example of a successful – and slightly modified – 5S plan can be found in our work with Vitamix, one of the leading kitchen appliance brands in the country. MAGNET growth consultants provided training on continuous improvement for management staff and employees, culminating in continuous improvement, streamlined operations, and the creation of a unique initiative known as Vitamix Lean Enterprise. Watch a quick video for details.
HEADLINE The survey definitively shows that product innovation leads to more growth, while “grow your own workforce” strategies will be needed to fill the major labor shortages hampering small manufacturer growth. Emerging technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT), 3D printing, and digital manufacturing are beginning to enhance innovation and productivity, but still have significant room for adoption amongst Ohio’s small manufacturing businesses. ABOUT THE SURVEY Under the direction of the Ohio Manufacturing Extension Partnership (Ohio MEP), MAGNET: The Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network conducted a thorough survey of Ohio’s manufacturing base. Contributing approximately 20% of Ohio’s jobs (and driving in some regions up to 50% of Ohio’s economy), and generating a disproportionate amount of export revenues and Gross Regional Product, manufacturing is critical to Ohio. Greater than 95% of Ohio’s manufacturers are small (under 500 employees), and these manufacturers need to remain competitive both nationally and internationally to ensure our economy’s health. Ohio’s Development Services Agency and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, which runs the MEP, recognizes the importance of this sector and fuels MAGNET and the Ohio MEP program to directly serve and support innovation, efficiency, and growth in small and medium manufacturers. What manufacturers need
How Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Can Help Keep Our Engineers Safe and Our Manufacturing Strong Recall how difficult it was to put together complex LEGO creations when you were a child or helping a child. Now, picture assembling a fighter plane from a room full of parts. Even highly trained engineers can benefit from technology to help improve consistency and quality. Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are making near-perfect assembly a possibility in the manufacturing space. By wearing AR glasses that use cameras, depth sensors and motion sensors to overlay images onto the real working environment, engineers and factory workers can visualize the exact bolts, parts, part numbers and instructions on how to assemble a particular component correctly. Lockheed Martin began using AR goggles and improved F-35 assembly time by 30 percent, in addition to increasing accuracy to 96 percent. In order to remain competitive, businesses should consider the ways VR and AR can improve efficiency and supply chain productivity. According to a recent BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research report, AR platforms can provide companies up to 25 percent in cost savings on installation of equipment. Here are four ways VR/AR is disrupting the mid-market manufacturing space:
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