Industrial Water Utilizing 5S Tools in the Workplace

HEBRON, Ohio (July 15, 2013) — Industrial Water is becoming leaner through the use of the 5S workplace organization tool, while incorporating a sixth “S” …Safety. Each of the five “S’s” has a dedicated purpose and by following each of the steps the workplace improvements will be realized. The five “S’s” are:

1. Sort: Eliminate all non-essential tools and equipment

2. Straighten: Organize all tools in the work area for optimal efficiency

3. Shine: Clean the entire area including walls, equipment, and floor

4. Standardize: Standard procedures to maintain an orderly, clean, and functional work area

5. Sustain: Implement systems to monitor and maintain the workplace in order for 5S to become part of the culture

The 5S process will naturally improve the overall safety of the work area.

The 5S workplace organization tool is designed to eliminate waste in the process. Waste can be defined as anything that does not add value to the customer. Some examples of “waste” identified in the regeneration plants are counting inventory, looking for tools, double handling, and carrying equipment over long distances. The expectation of 5S is to eliminate Non Value Added functions and reduce the overall costs of the operation. Continuous Improvement is the goal!

The implementation of 5S is being handled through a series of Kaizen events. Kaizen is a Japanese term for improvement or change for the better. Industrial Water has been using Kaizen events to make quick improvements in various areas of plants. These events consist of three to six team members, including managers, spending a day in the work area and following the 5S process.

The Newark, Ohio Regeneration facility has been the pilot site for the 5S process. In a few short months, Industrial Water has completed two projects covering four separate areas. Each of the projects has been facilitated by Tim Dondero, Plant Services Manager, with active participation from Jeff Noland, Brandon Bruns, Joe Wheeler, Matt Rauch, Mike Bolin, Gib Smith, Paul Butler, and Brent Hamilton. By the time this article is printed, additional 5S projects will have been completed in Wilkes-Barre, PA and Port Arthur, TX.

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