Lean 6 Sigma for Manufacturers
6S System

The 6S system is designed to improve productivity and efficiencies within your Manufacturing & Engineering business through organisation, identification, maintenance and sustainability of leaner processes. Our team of Warehouse Planning Experts have created a step guide to the 6S system, and recommend some useful products and services to help your Manufacturing business along the way.

Sort

Remove any unnecessary clutter from the work area using a "red tagging" process.

1

Step by step guide:
  • Review tools, parts and instructions.
  • Attach red tags to all tools, supplies, materials and equipment that are non-essential for completing the task.
  • Once tagged, remove the items from the work area for a follow up evaluation.
  • Move less frequently used items nearer to the work area.
  • Remove obsolete items and clutter.
Benefits:
  • A more effective use of your work space.
  • Simplified tasks.
  • A reduction in hazards.
  • Decrease in distracting clutter.
Useful equipment & services:

Rack
sacks

Indoor waste
collection bins

Step
ladders

Sema
Rack inspections

Set in order

Create an organised work environment by evaluating effective storage options and implementing visual management.

2

Step by step guide:
  • Arrange items, tools and equipment into a logical order.
  • Evaluate your storage space and layout – is it sufficient and logical for your needs?
  • Give every item a predetermined location, near to where they will be used.
  • Use labels, colour coding, segregated bins and shadow boards to define allocated item locations.
  • Keep items in their location until they are used, and return them immediately after use.
Benefits:
  • Organized and efficient use of storage.
  • Locate important items easily and quickly.
  • A less stressful work environment.
Useful equipment & services:

Shelving

Picking bins

Location
markers

Warehouse design
service

Safety

Identify and remove any safety hazards in your work area to prevent accidents.

3

Step by step guide:
  • Segregate any hazardous or moving machinery.
  • Check all equipment, tools and storage products are safe for use by running regular internal checks and gaining professional opinion.
  • Ensure health and safety practices are clearly displayed.
  • Identify, remove and control all potential hazards in your work place.
  • Ensure risk assessments are carried out in your workplace.
Benefits:
  • Maintains a clean, well-organised and visual workplace.
  • Minimises risk of injury.
  • Less disruption to business.
  • Increases morale and productivity.
Useful equipment & services:

Sema
Rack inspections

Rack
protection

Signs
& Labels

Mesh
Partitioning

Shine

Thoroughly clean the work area every day to sustain improvements initiated in "Sort" and "Set" stages.

4

Step by step guide:
  • Make cleaning part of daily work.
  • Assign areas of responsibility.
  • Clean all storage areas, machines, equipment, tools and work surfaces.
  • Inspect the workplace and equipment whilst cleaning.
  • Return all items to their assigned place.
Benefits:
  • Ensures a clean and pleasing environment.
  • Keeps the workplace safe and easy to work in.
  • Prevents deterioration.
Useful equipment & services:

Cage
sacks

Buckets
with wringer

Work
stations

Plastic
Boxes

Standardise

Establish procedures and schedules to ensure the repetition of Sort, Set, Shine and Safety practices.

5

Step by step guide:
  • Include all employees in the creation of a set of standards.
  • Assign tasks and create schedules so that everyone knows their responsibilities (sorting, organising, cleaning).
  • Reinforce the new standards until they are habitual using reminders (visual controls, photos and emails).
  • Review the status of 5S implementation regularly using audit checklists.
Benefits:
  • Replaces old habits with a new norm created by all staff.
  • Minimises risk of process being broken.
  • More efficient patterns of behaviour.
Useful equipment & services:

Signage
and Labelling

Whiteboards

Sustain

All personnel must remain disciplined enough to sustain the positive changes made in the earlier steps: "Do without being told".

6

Step by step guide:
  • Analyse results, hold team meetings and organize training sessions on the 6S.
  • Perform regular audits to ensure that all defined standards are being implemented and followed.
  • Implement improvements where required, recommendations from personnel can be very valuable for identifying the need for improvement.
  • When issues occur, identify the cause and implement necessary changes to avoid recurring incidents.
Benefits:
  • Maintains new standards.
  • Ensures a permanent improvement in efficiencies.
  • Efforts and costs invested pay off.
Useful equipment & services:

Office
chairs

Whiteboards

It’s important to remember that the 6S System is not a series of steps that are carried out once, but instead are a continuous improvement process that should be constantly monitored and evolved.

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