Two years ago ATP introduced LEAN SYSTEM methodology to improve business control, optimize lead times, eliminate waste and reduce costs. Speeding up the manufacturing process has significantly improved lead and delivery times while maintaining high quality. PFTE lab has just acquired the status of 5S-work space thanks to the completion of the project with the same name by the internal dedicated team.
But what does 5S stand for? It is an acronym of Sort, Set in order, Shine, Standardize and Sustain and it refers to five systematic and repeatable phases used to optimize operational standards and improve a workplace through order, organization and cleanliness.
5S approach is based on the principles of the Japanese philosophy and aims at operational excellence removing anything that is not needed to perform a task in order to eliminate waste.
Having clarified the ultimate goals of 5S methodology, let us now see how it was implemented in our PFTE laboratory environment.
After distinguishing between necessary and unnecessary items, “Red Tags” have been placed on items not required, which have then been moved to a so-called “red area”.
2S: Set in order
Once unnecessary items have been removed, essential tools have been put in ad hoc designated shadow boards and rearranged according to their use. Through Kanban visual management system, straighten steps have been identified and highlighted. The analyzed material has been relocated and containers for swarf and waste material introduced.
First of all, cleanliness standards have been defined; secondly, a list of necessary items and equipment to be cleaned up has been made. Finally, a schedule has been developed.
After having verified the improvements achieved, standard operating procedures have been developed to consolidate the method. In particular, the following documentation has been created:
an OPL (one point lesson) document where key concepts and steps are presented together with related pictures
a checklist to speed up the check
demo videos to be used as tutorials when in doubt and if necessary
The schedule of information-sharing meetings enabled, still enables and will enable us to continually draw attention to the project, prevent neglect, track results and evaluate new proposals for improvement!
As of today the dedicated team (made up of Federica Amenta, Alessandro Bertarini, Elena Buonagurelli, Marco Cantarello and Maria Grazia Piangerelli) can see that, following the implementation of the 5S transformation, work is now more efficient and less stressful, due also to the reduced margin of error. All of this is resulting in the possibility of creating a better working environment, being more in control of processes and offering customers constantly improving quality and performance.
“Truth is ever to be found in simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things” (Isaac Newton)