Are you having difficulty in finding your work tools and equipment? Is your workspace crowded with parts and tools, stacked between your workstations and gathering dust? Do you always have excess inventory, items, and machines that make it difficult to improve process flow? If you said yes to any of these, then you may have some serious storage and organization issues and it’s about time you start implementing a 5s program.
“A place for everything, and everything in its place” is the slogan of the 5s methodology. A 5s system is a good starting point to remove waste, improve organization, and maximize the use of space for storage. Which is why adopting a 5s program at your workplace just makes for good business sense. Aside from helping your organization develop a new sense of discipline and order that can be applied to other activities, having a well-implemented 5s program also:
- highlights problem areas
- improves safety
- reduces waste
- results to shorter lead times
- enhances quality and productivity output
- contributes to a sense of ownership of the workspace
- increases employee morale
- improves maintenance
- leaves a better impression on customers and visitors
Storage solutions are essential to a successful 5s program. An organized workspace means less wastage that includes time – time consumed locating items, time wasted due to improper use of an item, and time spent trying to find a proper place for an item. Storage products help in making sure these wastage are reduced or altogether removed. They include:
Work spaces should be set up so that everything has a place that is available when needed. Cabinets provide order and easy access to tools and materials. Use workbenches and storage cabinets in tidying up your workspace so each item, product, and equipment has a dedicated place. This helps reduce the footprint of goods and equipment that would otherwise just be lying around in your work area. Having an assigned space for your tools and mechanism also reduces time wasted searching for lost inventory.
When using storage, make sure everything is labelled and identified. If you have different storage needs for different employees, a better option would be to use adjustable storage and workbenches which can easily adapt to the different needs of the user.
Modular Drawer Cabinets
Since this type of cabinet can be customized, it offers the maximum use of cubic space for the highest density storage. Modular drawer cabinets provide maximum weight-bearing capacity, tailored drawer organization, and ergonomic item handling and access. Use these space-saving storage solutions for storing parts, tools, and items of any size and type.
Shelving provides visual and physical organization of your work and production areas. It offers a place to store your shelf bins and containers while still keeping stored items visible and easily accessible. Some shelving options even come with wheels so they can be moved from place to place with ease while other shelves can be mounted on walls for a permanent storage solution and at the same time freeing up valuable floor space.
Keep your keys and other valuables safe inside a key cabinet. This type of storage solution prevents access to restricted areas, and deters theft and tampering. It also keeps your keys organized and easily accountable.
Even your first aid supplies need to be organized too, especially since they are a critical tool in an emergency situation. First aid cabinets are usually mounted on walls in public areas for visibility and easy access, reducing precious time wasted on locating the supply. You can store the recommended number of medical supplies in these cabinets so your workplace can be better prepared to respond to an emergency.
Your 5s system doesn’t stop with utilizing these storage cabinets in your work areas. You also need to follow these guidelines for a truly successful 5s program:
- Make sure you tools and instruction manuals are stored near where they are going to be used and easily accessible.
- Design storage areas with wide openings and shallow shelving depths.
- Lay out your storage cabinets along the wall to free up space on the floor.
- Store similar items together and different items in separate rows for easy identification.
- Avoid stacking items together. Use racks and shelving when possible.
- Small bins make for great storage for small items.
- Colour-coding and labeling goes a long way in at-a-glance identification.
- Use see-through/transparent covers and doors for visibility.
- Use carts to move, organize, and store tools and equipment.
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