The team removes all items from the event area, red-tags them and temporarily stores them until they can be processed. April 2017 Spray 33 if it’s important to an organization’s leadership team, it will be important to those who report to them. DAY 1: Safety & Sort (Red Tag Process) The team’s sole mission on Day 1 is to identify any safety issues for immediate repair by maintenance mechanics and what I like to refer to as “empty out the entire garage.” This means if it’s not bolted down, everything should be redtagged, identifying what it is and where it was located in the area and then removed to a nearby spot where all the red-tag items can be accumulated. Depending on how long an organization has been in operation, this means you could end up red-tagging anywhere from 250–500 items, if not more. This is important for several reasons, the most important being it gives the team full, unencumbered access to the work area for the next step in the process: scrubbing. DAY 2: Scrub This is where the real hard work begins, as the scrubbing process means just what it sounds like—to scrub every part of the work area from top to bottom and both inside and out. While many see it as just cleaning the equipment in the beginning, as the day goes on, numerous small mechanical issues such as worn bearings, broken bolts, leaking airlines or exposed wires are often found. These had remained hidden for a very long time, robbing a company of its operational efficiencies. The other key, critical, long-lasting benefit is that when you have both senior managers and hourly line employees working side by side, scrubbing equipment and getting dirty as a team, the proverbial wall between management and hourly associates begins to slowly but surely come down. By the end of the event week, one of the greatest unspoken outcomes is the mutual respect that develops within the team itself and the fact that everyone has a stake in the outcome and ownership in the area of improvement from that day forward. DAY 3: Set The “set in order process” is often one of the more emotional and challenging steps of the entire 6S process. It is here we need to strongly challenge our employees to only bring back to the production line the items they need to run the production equipment that day. On average, up to 75% of what was red tagged in the initial workspace is not required on a daily basis and is one of the biggest drivers of operational inefficiencies and wasted work space. A prime example is the traditional work stations that take up both vertical and horizontal work space. However, when you peer inside those work stations, you will find old papers, magazines, leftover snacks and numerous other non-value items that simply don’t need to be in a modern manufacturing facility. The ultimate goal is to only have what is needed to perform the standard work process required to make good product on an hourly basis. It is often very hard for employees to make that drastic of a change to their work area, so it’s important to reassure them that all remaining red tag items will be kept somewhere within the plant for at least 30–45 days before being discarded or repurposed. DAY 4: Standardize It is at this next important step that the long-term impact and course of the visual factory starts to take shape and will set the standard for how the entire rest of the facility will and after. The blending room before (left) and after.
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