The first time I was involved in a 5S implementation strategy was in a typical American injection mold making shop of about 10 moldmakers. We had been in business as long as plastic molding was a business, so there was a lot of “stuff” laying around.
It seemed that everything had a place, but only a few knew the secrets of where it all was. I was highly skeptical of this idea at first because I had spun my wheels for so long on every new program that the managers learned at the latest seminar.
Most of these programs just took our time and yielded little or nothing in the way of results, but when I heard that it was Japanese, I got interested. At the time, they were decimating our auto industry and I figured they must know something we didn’t about reducing mold making costs.
The benefits of a lean manufacturing 5S program are many and there really are no negatives, unless the initiative is implemented incorrectly.
How to get started with a 5S program
Creating a 5S implementation strategy for your mold making operation is one of the smartest things you can do. Your clutter will vanish, you will know where every single thing is in your shop and everybody will be happier and more productive. What more could you ask for!
The basic requirements are time and willingness. Once you learn the technique, it is a matter of educating your workers of the benefits and making it a permanent policy. It is essential that the decision come from the top down and everyone is “on board”, otherwise it will be just another well-meaning program.
How long does 5S implementation take
It took us about a week to actually finish the initial process. By the end of two days we had made a lot of progress, but it was essential that we complete the project entirely. I’m certain that things would have returned to “normal’ if we had not followed all five steps.
It is very difficult to change a shop culture, but it can be done. There were some guys who were very negative, but once they began to see the results their complaints disappeared.
Get the key players involved and the others will follow: it’s just human nature. Ignore them and the negativity will spread like an illness.
Is 5 S implementation worth the effort?
Yes, it is very much well worth the effort. The time you spend with 5S implementation will most certainly pay for itself in a short time. If you only added up the hours spent looking for things, you could quickly justify the expense; not to mention the satisfaction you feel from working in a well-organized and efficient environment.
The 5S Implementation Manual an excellent book written by a consulting firm with many years experience. This book is now available as an ebook and it has been an Amazon top seller for a very long time. This book is available in hardcover or as an ebook, and has been a best seller for quite a long time. It will help you with your 5S program and save a lot of time and money.