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We hosted an impromptu poll on our website where we asked “What Lean initiative tops your priority list in 2014?” We gave them the following choices just to simplify the responses:

  • 5S
  • Cellular/Flow
  • Pull Systems/Kanban
  • Kaizen/Continuous Improvement
  • Total Productive Maintenance

The results surprised me a little. I was shocked to see 5S being the largest percentage of responses; but then I thought that this probably made sense for two reasons: 1) many companies start their lean journey with 5S, and 2) it was probably biased since the website is 5S Supply (although we carry everything lean). The next thing that caught my eye was that Cellular/Flow had no responses – zero. Flow is one of the things that we are trying to create with lean so I was amazed to see that no one responded that they would have a focus on it this year. It was nice to see that 21 percent of the respondents selected Kaizen/Continuous Improvement as a major priority. I think organizations get too caught up in only using Kaizen Events (a.k.a. Rapid Improvement Events, Kaizen Blitz, etc.) and forget about the daily kaizen – as our friends Bruce Hamilton and Pat Wardwell from GBMP said it in their book (e2 Continuous Improvement System) “Everybody, Everyday”. To finish out the poll, only some responded that they would focus on creating Pull Systems/Kanban and even fewer mentioned Total Productive Maintenance (TPM).

I know this was just a quick polling questions and I wouldn’t read too much into the results, but what do you think?

2014 Lean Priority Poll Results

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How to Organize Inventory, Control Costs, and Reduce Waste with the TwinBin Kanban System

5S Supply now offers the unique and award winning TwinBin 2-bin Kanban System

As many of you know kanban is a Japanese term that typically is related to a signal of when to produce (make) or withdraw (move) items in a manufacturing setting. Nowadays, Kanban Systems are used in office areas, hospitals and other industries wanting better control of their processes and inventory. 5S Supply has partnered with Hurst Green Plastics, Ltd from the United Kingdom to provide their award winning TwinBin and FlagBin Systems.

How it Works

Employees pull parts from the lower bin as needed. When the bin is empty, a pull of the divider drops the correct quantity of replenishment parts into the bin. This also visually triggers replenishment of parts in the top bin. The top bin is then restocked and the pull system continues to provide the right product in the right quantities! The clear front plastic bins allow operators to easily see exactly what parts are needed and the current quantity. The bins can be color coded and labeled to make the system even more visual and simple to operate.

Benefits of using TwinBin and FlagBin

  • Inventory Control – up to 82% of stock reduction has been recorded
  • Traceability – offers opportunity for 100% traceability even for small components
  • Less Waste – every part issued and accounted for
  • No Environmental Contamination – parts are retained in a closed bin
  • No Stock Cross-Contamination
  • Reduces Line Stoppages
  • Rapid Payback on Investment

Other TwinBin Options include:

  • An upper Locking Bar (in three colors: Red, Blue and Grey) to help prevent people from pulling components from the top bin.
  • Color-coded Bin Labels (in five colors: Red, Yellow, Green, Blue, Clear)  to make it simpler to find what is needed
  • Plastic Mounting Bolts (2 per bin required) used with the TwinBin Racking System

TwinBin Kanban System

TwinBin Kanban System

TwinBin Racking Systems

There are two Racking Systems sizes to choose from:

  • .75m (2.46 ft.) wide x 1.9m high (6.23 ft.) – holds 50 TwinBin – Singles (25 per side)
  • 1.5m (4.92 ft.) wide x 1.9m high (6.23 ft.) – holds 100 TwinBin – Singles (50 per side)

Other Racking Options:

  • Racking Headers – angled headers to prevent anyone from stacking things on top and to label specific racks for parts or components
  • Collection Trays – used on the bottom of the rack if parts fall they can be easily contained (2 per set)
  • Castors – make your Racking System mobile to two swivel wheels and two locking wheels

Since these items are shipped form the U.K., 5S Supply uses a Request for Quote form to customize solutions.

For more information visit our website: TwinBin Kanban System or call us at 888 4 LEAN 5S (888-453-2657).

 

Here’s a quick list of things related to 5S and Lean that you can easily do to celebrate Earth Day and make your workplace (and our planet) better.

  1. RTS-103_02_ThumbnailGo to your 5S Red Tag Holding Area and see if there is something there that can be recycled. Maybe there is something that you could re-purpose or use in your work area. This will save your organization money from having to buy a new item and you extended the life of an item you already have.
  2. Organize some consumable items in your work area. Determine the best location for them. Consider using Point-of-Use-Storage (or a Kanban System – like Kanban Indicator Bins); this will help reduce motionKBN-001_In_Rack_View and transportation waste. Determine how many you actually need and who replenishes  hem. This alone may help you reduce the unnecessary inventory you carry and reduce the waste of inventory or storage.
  3. Put a “Shine” on your workplace. Clean and inspect your work area – this not only will make your spot seem nicer and more pleasant to be in, it can also help improve the air quality, reduce allergens and germs.
  4. Create Standards for a task in your work area. Work with your team to determine the best way to get a task done and then standardize it. This will help you be more efficient and effective plus everyone will do it the same way so it makes it more consistent and easier to train new people.
  5. RTS-106_02_ThumbnailKeep 5S going by sustaining your efforts. Consider using our exclusive 5S Sustain Campaign Board. You can assign 5S related tasks to team members each week to keep 5S forefront in their minds while help to continuously improve your work space.

Remember to Reduce-Reuse-Recycle! 5S and Lean are a great way to help.

Whether it’s part of your New Year’s resolution or just a good idea — being organized saves time, money and reduces stress. These bins come in nine different sizes, four colors and have options including: long and short dividers, clear lids, label holders and wheeled dollies. Get and stay organized with Akro-Grids. Akro-Grid Containers allow you to customize your storage solution.

One of the key elements of 5S or being organized is to “Set-in-Order” which means “A place for everything and everything in its place.” By using AkroGrid color-coded bins with clear lids and label holders you, or any member of your team can quickly find what is needed — no time wasted searching for things. You can also customize these containers to fit your specific needs with the optional dividers. The long and short dividers allow you to subdivide the container down to a 1-1/8″ square compartment size so you can create hundreds of different sizes. The bins are injection molded from industrial-grade polymers, which resist most solvents and chemicals. Its ribbed design gives added strength and strong stacking ability. Akro-Grid containers are compatible with most racks, shelving, and automated material handling equipment. Colors choices are Red, Blue, Gray, and Clear. These stackable containers can be moved quickly and easily with the optional dolly for better material handling or creating a Lean Pull/Kanban System with items at Point-of-Use. These are perfect for holding parts, components or items for manufacturers, hospitals, office areas and even your home. By using containers like the Akro-Grids you can have a better handle on your inventory accuracy, shorten lead-times by having the right item where you need it, optimize your storage space by minimizing the footprint, and improve parts or component protection. For additional versatility, combine the Akro-Grids and dollies with Material Handling Systems like Mono Rails, Parking Slots, and FIFO Rail systems to complete a well-organized Lean Pull System.

Stop by http://www.5Ssupply.com for more information on how to apply lean principles or to improve your workplace. You can give us a call at 888 4 LEAN 5S (888-453-2657) or drop us a line at info@5Ssupply.com. We love to talk Lean and would be glad to help out. 5S Supply is the premier provider of Lean supplies, training and services.