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Topic Title: Why a clean factory?
Topic Summary: Clean Factory
Created On: 03/29/2011 09:00 AM
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03/29/2011 08:24 PM
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123128
Alan Drifka



We are an electro-mechanical assembly shop - so no machines. We work hard on keeping our shop organized and clean but every once in awhile a person will ask why do we need to spend time cleaning - aren't we suppose to concentrate on assembling and shipping product. Curious as to how others would answer this question.
03/29/2011 09:35 PM
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pc2
P. Cartagena



Do these people ask restaurants why they spend time cleaning their kitchens when they're supposed to be concentrating on cooking food?

Do these people ask hospitals why they spend time cleaning operating rooms when they're supposed to be concentrating on performing surgery?

There are numerous reasons for keeping a clean shop. But there's one simple, primary reason, dirt is bad.

Dirt is bad for food.

Dirt is bad for surgery.

Dirt is bad for electro-mechanical machinery.



pc.
03/30/2011 04:16 AM
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Davidjackson
David Jackson



Hi Alan

To Answer your question I would reply in with two Basic answers 1 from a health and safety point of view, cleaning the work area will have a positive effect on reducing accidents, (trips and spills). the other would be the 5s fundamentals, Sort, Staighten,Shine,Standerdise,Sustain.(Place for everything, everything in its place), by default this will make your processes more efficient.
03/30/2011 08:40 AM
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SetupGuy
Thomas Warda



Alan,

Interesting question and I'll try to offer several different answers. First, in all my years in manufacturing, I don't think I've ever been in a nice, neat, organized shop that put out junk. On the other hand, I don't think I've ever been in a dump that consistently put out good product. Coincidence? I think not. I generally say that neatness, organization and discipline all go together and they're all a management decision. Those three - if they're present - tend to make it into the products and services that shop produces.

But there are more reasons that just those to keep your shop neat and organized. One of the biggest things that keeping a shop neat and organized gains you is not having to search for things when you need them. Searching takes time and costs money. For instance, if somebody cannot find the proper tool, they'll generally use whatever they can find. This can lead to highly variable outcomes. (Why is it they can always find a hammer?)

Finally, when you bring a prospective customer in for a site visit, what kind of impression do you want to send?

Tom
03/30/2011 09:24 AM
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Boeing_Lean
Ken Hunt



When I visit a manufacturing or office area the first thing I look at is how things are/aren't organized. If things are in disarray or a mess chances are that there is Muda being caused by having to search for, or retrieve things that are needed to do a process. So, a clean and organized area should help you in having what you need when you need it. In other words - 5S.

I mentioned 5S because it is a way to make cleaning and straightening part of the everyday work. So if you make this part of your daily activity WHILE you are assembling and shipping (clean as you go) you will have much better buy-in from the team.
03/30/2011 09:30 AM
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RichardLove
Richard Love



5S gets at the heart and soul of lean.
It creates a safer work environment by reducing the things that can cause tripping by being in the way.
Doing it demonstrates the discipline needed to follow standards necessary to see the opportunities.
It saves time by having things located where you can find them without searching for them therefore removing waste of time.
If done properly it saves additional time by having the right tool at the right location.
It values the worker by allowing them to focus on the value added portion of the job since everything needed is present.
It avoids waste of $'s by quickly identifying misplaced tools.
Just some thoughts. I think we frequently miss the safety statement and the discipline necessary to be successful at lean. 5S also embodies the philosophy and way of thinking about things necessary to be good at lean.
03/30/2011 11:35 AM
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AerospaceLean
Eric Chan



Wow. So many ways to answer this question... here are some reasons:

1. Safety! A clean factory is a safe factory. Slip and trip hazards are minimized when your factory is clean.
2. Efficiency. A messy factory is inefficient and slows you down. Trying to find tools and supplies when your factory is cluttered is obviously harder.
3. Hides Waste. A messy factory hides waste. You can't see the waste if your buried under a pile of trash.

I'm sure other people will add more.
eric@aerospacelean.com
03/31/2011 03:48 PM
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123128
Alan Drifka



Thank you for all that replied. Some of your points are focused on "orderly" or set part of the 5S. The people understand that but the question is specific to "clean" or the shine part of 5S where the question comes up. Why does everything need to be cleaned or shined. (remember we are a assembly shop without any machines)
04/01/2011 02:08 PM
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Eric-HST
Eric Schmitz



Alan,

I suppose that Eric Chan already mentioned an interesting point: A messy factory hides waste. You cannot see the waste if the factory is not shining.

Also, you have to consider how your factory becomes dirty. You have to imagine that you start with a shiny factory and that you pay people to make it dirty. So, everytime people are cleaning and wondering why they have to do this, they also should consider why it became dirty and how it can be avoided. If done relentless, you will improve again.

in that way I agree with the basic feeling that the 'shiny job' should be excluded at some point. But only when you are sure that there is no further improvement for the customer and his value.
04/01/2011 02:08 PM
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DMcGan
David McGan



As has been stated before, dust, dirt, grease, etc. can be detrimental to electromechanical assemblies. And even if a shop is orderly, if it is still "dirty," that sends a negative signal to a current or potential customer. And the discipline to maintain a clean work area will most likely transfer to the discipline to follow assembly instructions and thus help ensure consistent good quality. If after all that explanation they still question the need for cleanliness, then perhaps you should evaluate it without the white gloves. :)
04/01/2011 02:08 PM
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bengel
Brad Engel



Alan,

This is actually a good question, and should not be taken as people trying to get out of work. Your employee's might just be getting it, and how you respond can help reinforce lean thinking,

The real answer is, how far you take the 'Shine' portion of 5S is up to a facility. I have worked in assembly area that think it's important to clean every horizontal surface with a degreaser at the end of every shift. To me that was excessive and unnecessary for the environment and was in itself waste.

I would approach the team asking the question with a question. What would change in our cleaning practice? If they have a plan to still keep up the spirit of the 'Shine', but spend less time doing it, why not give it a try? Be sure you have a clear goal for what you want the area to be like over time, then Plan, Do, Check, Act! If it doesn't work, change the plan, if it does, plan to make that your new standard work in all areas.

BRad.
04/01/2011 02:08 PM
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191932
Stephen Haynes



In answer to your question ,Why does everything have to be clean?'

I aways think of the third S as 'Sweep and Shine'.
The Shine part is the cleaning part.
But maybe more important the Sweep part is the Inspection Part.
This inspection comes about whilst the user is wiping down the equipment, Sweeping across the surfaces

Lets take a few examples
1. As you wipe down the control cabinet,you realise that the hinge on the door has broken or is starting to fail....A good time to get it fixed.

2. As you wipe down the motor, you realise the electrical cables are showing ...time to inform electricians

3. As you clean down the fixture after it has been used, you notice that a location dowel is missing...you have it replaced.

4. As you wipe down the sump, you notice that oil is leaking...you have the seal replaced.

When your people think about Shine, get them to concentrate upon the SWEEP part also.

Stephen H.
04/01/2011 02:08 PM
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Boeing_Lean
Ken Hunt



Machines or no machines, the principle is still the same. Disorderly, sloppy work areas lend themselves to disorderly, sloppy work. Again, if you make it part of the process "clean as you go" instead of a set aside time, so it doesn't appear that you are stopping production (which if done right you are not), I guarantee you the buy-in will be there.

Also, you can't do this by yourself. You need leadership to help get the message out, by actually going to the Gemba. And they need to walk the walk. If they expect an orderly work area and their own workspace is a dump, what's the message?
04/01/2011 02:08 PM
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SetupGuy
Thomas Warda



You clean to inspect. (Dirt hides imperfections.) So when you're doing the third of the five S's correctly, you're also looking at what you cleaned to find possible defects / wear before it gets out of hand. And then of course there's the part about most folks liking to work in a nice, clean area.

Tom
04/01/2011 02:08 PM
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SRedder62
Steven Redd



Alan,

Short and sweet, Shine is to clean and inspect the process...regularly.
Cleaning IS an inspection and is the first step in preventive maintenance. When an operating coworker or crew cleans, they inspect for damage, wear and tear and report their findings to maintenance.

In 25 years, I have never met a maintenance mechanic that enjoyed cleaning someone else's mess in order to determine what malfunction exists and how to repair it in order to restore production.

Those who clean show ownership and pride which are primary elements of good coworker morale.

There is much more to this than a brief message can reveal because Shine must be Standardized by the those who are performing it.

Highest Regards
Steven
04/01/2011 04:27 PM
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Robert_ELSE_Inc
Robert Drescher



Hi Alan

The answer is in the question "a person will ask why do we need to spend time cleaning" they are spending time cleaning because it is not clean. How long would it take to clean some place that is clean; none. If it takes time to clean than evidently there was dirt there to clean. Dirt is a health risk especially if it contains even small amounts of lubricants/oils, bacteria will grow on them. In fifty years of life I have handled all kind of supposedly clean new parts, yet almost always my hands end up dirty, because light oil films often protect parts from rusting. That oil gets on everything, the longer it is around the harder it is to clean, and the higher the risk of it becoming a health hazard.

Even simple dust, the longer it is left setting around the more problems it will create and the harder and longer it takes to clean it up. Cleaning is one of those thing that the more often it is done the faster and easier it is to get done. Take a restaurant kitchen, proper daily cleaning cuts total cleaning time in half over weekly cleaning, it may not be pleasant to do some of the jobs, but if you leave them even over night they get far worse and take much longer.

Personally though the best answer is simply it promotes a healthier workplace.

Hope that helps.

Robert Drescher
ELSE Inc.
04/04/2011 05:05 PM
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SetupGuy
Thomas Warda



Here's another thing to think about relating to cleaning. "How often you clean affects how you clean." When you clean something regularly, it generally doesn't get very dirty, so your cleaning process can be fairly simply and non-destructive. When you let something get really dirty, the process required to get it clean again generally becomes pretty ugly - and may even cause problems with operation.

I remember one facility I worked in where they had roller conveyors all over the factory (automated Muda) transporting chemicals. These chemicals sometimes leaked onto the rollers. When we started our 5S program, eventually we decided it was time to clean up the mess. It took a steam / pressure washer to get the rollers clean. You probably heard the squeaks when we started the line back up - because we also pretty well cleaned all the lubricants out of the bearings. So a clean factory is usually a happy factory - where waste is much easier to see. It's also probably a better running factory.
04/04/2011 05:05 PM
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3744
Ronald Turkett



The best and most direct answer is what I was taught many years ago by the CEO of American Axle. A clean plant can be made better, a dirty plant can never be made good.f I have stayed with that principle every since and it has never failed.
Ron Turkett
04/04/2011 05:05 PM
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JohnPod
John Podlasek



Alan,
You ask why do we have to clean and shine.
1. Because we are not pigs, and you spend at least 8 hours a day in an environment that needs to be clean and healthy. The employees are symbolic of your customers, and if you have a clean environment and treat your employees well, then you treat your customers the same way. As a society we want to be clean and healthy. This means we care about eachother

One job I had a few years back as production manager of a wood stove assembly plant. The company purchased castings and the dust was everywhere. The dust did not interfere with the production, but the filth drove me nuts. Since when I went home I was blowing dust out of my nose, so I purchased a vacuum cleaner and starting sucking up the dust. The Factory manager came down and asked me what I was doing. He said I should have someone else vacuum the floor, and generally it was unnecessary to do so, since there was always dust.
I replied that if I had someone else vacuum then they would not be producing stoves and it was my job as a manager to provide a clean work environment for the employees and to set the example that cleanliness was important. Later I wanted to delegate cleaning as part of the daily routine, but to no avail.
He sarcastically replied that I was the most expensive janitor he had ever hired, and I thanked him for the compliment. Which he did not like or understand. Needless to say I was fired soon after. I was happy to leave. He did not give a damn about his employees and the atmosphere he had created there was proof of that attitude. Sadly I have seen it in many places, but that company was by far the worst. Nice stoves though.
Probably saved me from a future of lung cancer. I felt sorry for the people who worked there.
Thats why I clean and shine.
John
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