Sunday, April 22, 2018

5S and Floor Markings by Jesse Allred of Creative Safety Supply

5S is really about establishing standard work and visual manufacturing. In today's post. Floors are often overlooked as a good way think through your 5S effort.  Jesse Allred of Creative Safety Supply provides some good ideas on how industrial floor tape can help you standardize your workspace!  

So you’ve decided to go Lean with your manufacturing and implement the 5S system in your facility, but where do you start? An organized workplace is a safer and more efficient workplace, but organizing surroundings, especially in a large warehouse, can be a daunting task. 

One of the most effective and easy-to-use tools you can utilize when implementing 5S efforts is industrial floor tape. The limits to organizing with tape and floor markings are seemingly endless, and incredibly cost effective. Whether you’re just starting down the path of Lean manufacturing or you’re well-versed in the 5S world, here’s how to use floor tape and floor markings in each pillar of the 5S methodology. 

Sort – For the first step, focus on removing waste and unneeded items from the workspace. You should get rid of anything that is not essential to the running of the facility, and only keep what is absolutely necessary. Use floor markings to establish designated waste areas; this will give workers a space specifically for waste, and as the area gets full, the waste is more likely to be removed.

Set – The next step of the process is to allocate specific areas for everything in the workplace. This includes products, materials, equipment, forklifts, work desks, pallets, everything! Save time, effort, and the headache of painting floors by easily installing floor tape and markings. 

Lay down yellow lanes for pedestrian traffic so employees and visitors know where it’s safe to walk, install lanes specifically for forklifts, use the tape to create “homes” for tools and equipment to be safely stored; the possibilities really are endless. Not only will these markings improve efficiency with workers knowing exactly where items go, the area will be safer as dangerous tools can be properly out of the way, and workers are on the same page.  

Shine – This pillar is focused on keeping the work area clean and “shined” regularly. While this is more applicable to keeping tools and equipment clean, it is important to remember to clean the tape regularly to ensure visibility and extend the life of your floor tape. 

Standardize – Create standards within the workplace to achieve efficiency and ensure your efforts up until this point are maintained. This step may also include adding other 5S tools into your plan: schedule 5s events, create and display charts designating responsibility, and implement frequent Gemba walks to assess progress. Floor markings are valuable in the standardize step, as workers will constantly have clear visual reminders of the facility’s organizational goals and standards. 

Sustain – Once these techniques have been applied it’s time to sustain and continue the progress you’ve made. Once your floor markings are set in place, you won’t have to worry about them like floor paint. Over time, paint will fade and discolor, be worn down by foot and equipment traffic, and repainting will eventually be required as the paint chips and crack.

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