Our solutions are based on an ancient technique.

5S is a concept first developed in Japan as a component of JIT (Just-In-Time) Manufacturing.

It's based on 5 Japanese words that begin with 'S',

1.     Seiri - (Sort)

2.     Seiton - (Set in Place)

3.     Seiso - (Shine)

4.     Seiketsu - (Standardize)

5.     Shitsuke - (Sustain)

The philosophy focuses on effective work place organization and standardized procedures. When implemented, it reduces waste, increases efficiency, and overall work quality. You'll also have a safer, more effective operation and employees who are more checked in than they were before.

Richter can help with your 5S project with design and build capability for conveyors, flow racks, mobile carts, and workstations.

Our experienced team will help you identify what is and isn't working with your current space and layout and help your team through the 5S steps.

1. Seiri - (Sort)

Sort, inspect, and identify equipment, supplies, and other items critical to the operation being performed. Remove everything from the work area. Identify everything critical to the function of the work space.  Eliminate duplicates, unnecessary equipment, trash, and things that aren't required. Once non-essential items are identified, dispose of them or store them outside of the work cell.

2. Seiton - (Set in Place)

"A place for everything, and everything in its place"

Remember to envision the work area as it should be. Consider the flow of work, and organize equipment and supplies to ensure good proximity of tools and supplies, and the ability to clean, and re-fill supplies quickly.

By assigning the best position for everything you need you will optimize your layout.

To eliminate "hunting" for tools or supplies like tape guns, brooms and boxes create a specific place just for these things. Consider using Shadow Boards for cleaning supplies and if items must be stored on the floor, use tape or striping to identify where the item belongs.  For supplies consider tool holders, pegboards or dividable drawers.

3. Seiso - (Shine)

When you clean the area to make it ready for use, consider the lighting and the ability to keep the area clean over time. Cleaning will be an important activity done without fail, every day.

At the end of a day or shift any excess packing materials should be cleaned and discarded. Boxes, cartons, and filler material should be removed from the desktop. The floor should be swept and tools should be returned to their storage location.

When you work in a clean and organized space, you become more clean and organized, and it may help create a sense of pride, and ownership.

4. Seiketsu - (Standardize)

All stakeholders should be involved in 5S projects, because often the best people to define the Best Practice Standards are the employees who deal with the issues on a daily basis.

Ensure everyone is involved, knows what they are supposed to do, what's expected of them, and what is needed to perform tasks. Update the standards and be sure everyone knows their importance.

5. Shitsuke - (Sustain)

Sustaining the new standard is the hardest part of the process and 5S won't work if you don't continue to execute. People tend to return to old habits unless new ones are instilled and actively managed. Once you've reorganized work areas, cleaned, created standards the real work is sticking to them.   Continuous improvement, regular meetings, and workplace inspections can help ensure success.

Identify the bottlenecks and fix them

The packing area is a common bottleneck especially in distribution operations. When workers spend more time actually packing, and less time walking, bending, searching, and reaching, efficiency increases while injuries decrease.

Some things to consider when choosing or designing a custom packing or work stations include:

The user's point of view - the packing area is too often treated as an afterthought. The truth is that the Packer is a key member of the order fulfillment team, and his perspective on how the work area and process are designed, are critical success factors.

Maximize production speed & efficiency

Configure an efficient packaging station efficiency is increased by integrating the packing station into the company's operational goals, order fulfillment and material handling systems.

Ergonomic Design - Accessibility to the required tools, materials and supplies need to be considered in the workstation design, and considering the flow of the work will increase efficiency for the user. If there is not enough storage area at the workstation it could impact speed but making the table larger is not necessarily the answer as it could increase clutter.

Also consider adding matting and/or a sit-stool to minimize fatigue and facilitate better performance.

Adaptability - Richter uses modular aluminum framing for workstations to ensure they are easily re-configurable and adaptable to future requirements.

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