Foamflyer's RC Airplanes
How can you get your workshop cleaned and organized?
Waste is a killer. Waste can be found in tools we don't use anymore, and in steps that need not be taken. A very powerful tool is 5S.
5S is a tool of Lean Manufacturing. Lean Manufacturing is a business practice that is characterized by the pursuit of continuous improvement and the elimination of waste. 5S focuses on basic principles to develop visual control of workplace organization and cleanliness which helps assure sustainability. It helps assure that the right tools and fixtures are available to perform the work.
The term 5S is derived from five Japanese words that describe the basic principles. These Japanese words all start with the letter "S".
Seiri (organization)- Sorting
Seiton (tidiness)- Simplifying
Seiso (purity)- Systematic Cleaning
Seiketsu (cleanliness)- Standardizing
Shitsuke (discipline)- Sustaining
Another way to express 5S is the following:
Sorting: Determine what is out of place and/or not needed.
Simplifying: A place for everything and everything in it's place, clean and ready to use.
Sweeping: Clean and look for ways to keep it clean. Use as a form of inspection.
Standardizing: Create and implement standards across the entire work area.
Self-Discipline: Stick to it, develop and practice good habits.
Here's each of the 5S's in more detail:
Sorting: If there's a tool in your workshop you don't use anymore, put it in the "Red Tag Area". You don't need to actually use red tags, but the item should be placed in a designated holding area. Evaluate the items every so often, if you haven't used it in say, six months (or whatever sounds reasonable to you), get rid of it! Try to give it to someone else who can use it, but in any case get it out of your shop. Items that are no longer used but have a higher value could be sold to try to recover some of the cost.
Simplifying: Make sure every tool or item you use has a place. Make sure the place is close to where it is used. For example, would you have a drill press in a corner of your shop, and the drill bits on the other side of the room? Another tool that can be used for Simplifying is a "shadow board", where tools can be hung on a board with outlines painted behind them. This has the advantage of knowing what belongs where and what may be missing. In any case, make things visual.
Sweeping: Inspect your workshop every time you enter it. Develop ways to keep it clean. For example, develop a cleaning checklist and/or schedule, and stick to it. After a while you'll discover that some things are usually out of order, and other things are easier to maintain. Focus on problem areas and come up with some way to keep it from happening.
Standardizing: Use standards through your workshop, such as keeping small parts in parts boxes, use the same type of labeling, etc. After a while you'll see things that work well for you - write these things down so you won't forget. Other things may seem like a good idea at the time, but will not be working - don't hesitate to scrap those ideas and try something new.
Self-Discipline: This is the hardest part! Ensure you return tools to their areas, and maintain the first four S's.
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