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Lean Support

Lean Support


Quantifiable, Measurable, Sustainable Benefits Resulting from 5S Techniques

Every manufacturer seeks to implement an impactful, long-lasting set of principles and methods that promote a culture of continuous improvement.  Hopefully ones that will touch every area of the organization.  So, how can we optimize operating processes, improve product quality, lower costs, all while drastically improving employee morale?  The hands-on approach represented by the 5S methodology provides a step-by-step strategy for creating a visual workspace that will generate immediate positive results.

What is 5S?   5s-image.jpg

The 5S system is a component of LEAN manufacturing comprised of a series of activities designed to eliminate waste from the production process.  More than simply housekeeping, 5S sets out to permanently install straightforward instructions for how to organize your workplace.  Historically, the term 5S was developed by Toyota in the 1950's and has been refined since then.  

The elements of 5S include:

    1. Sort
    2. Straighten
    3. Shine
    4. Standardize
    5. Sustain

       "Safety" was added as the 6th S in the 1990's by US manufacturers.

What are the Benefits to 5S? 

The implementation of visual management tools can have very substantive, quantifiable financial benefits that begin almost immediately.  "Hard" savings include:lean-benefits-chart3.jpg

  • Scrap reduction
  • Decreased downtime
  • Reduced inventory
  • Improved safety
  • Higher quality
  • Shortened lead times
  • Labor savings
  • Improve on-time delivery
  • Reduced floor space
  • Improve accuracy



"Soft" benefits include:

  • Improved employee morale
  • High level of employee buy-in
  • Positive customer/supplier perception
  • Promotes continuous improvement 

The Key Elements of 5S

We have created a quick guide summarizing the five elements that comprise 5S.  A free copy can be downloaded here.  home-page-5s-download-image2.jpg

The Role of Adequate Storage

The success of any 5S implementation relies on:

  1. Eliminate wasted motion
  2. Organize needed parts, materials, and supplies
  3. Locate frequently used items near workspace

The modular storage cabinets, 5S storage cabinets, and CNC tool storage equipment from ShopFlow Solutions assists manufacturers accomplish each of these.  Every area of production, assembly, maintenance, and machine shop requires high density storage systems that allow for immediate access to needed items with minimal effort.

Modular Drawer Cabinets cabinet-collage-lean.jpg

Our STC series cabinets are heavy-duty and offer a high density storage solution for organizing small parts, MRO supplies, machine parts, assembly components, and tools.  Store items used in close proximity to central work area to eliminate wasted time searching for needed tools.  Large capacity cabinets consist of generous compartment configurations that organize and inventory hundreds of components. 

Add ABS compartment bins to customize drawer interiors and utilize every inch of available space.  Manage inventory of nuts, bolts, tools, fasteners, screws, and fixtures.  Modular cabinets deliver the right item at the right time with minimal wasted motion.

CNC Tool Storage 

cabinet-sum-image.jpgManufacturers involved in metal fabricating and machining require a reliable, secure and mobile storage solution.  Easily accessing the proper tool assembly at the right time can have a tremendous impact on tool changes and downtime.  Also, the proper storage equipment can maintain tool quality and extend tool life by preventing damage due to inadequate storage.  Our CNC tool storage system facilitates tool changes and provides visual management of cutting tools.  NCT series tool caddies, quickly deliver needed assemblies to the work area from a centralize storage location.


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