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Anyone familiar with lean manufacturing is familiar with the 5-S approach - a lean trademark. Seiri (tidiness), seiton (orderliness), seiso (cleanliness), seiketsu (standardization) and shitsuke (sustaining) are the five components that lie at the heart of the Toyota Production System, or what's popularly referred to as lean. They are all important, but let's spend some time discussing seiso - cleanliness.
If cleanliness isn't important, why have so many famous quotes been dedicated to the subject?
"Cleanliness is indeed next to godliness." - John Wesley
"Soap and education are not as sudden as a massacre, but they are more deadly in the long run." - Mark Twain
"Cleanliness and order are not matters of instinct; they are matters of education, and like most great things, you must cultivate a taste for them." - Benjamin Disraeli
"All will come out in the washing." - Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
Believe me, the list of quotes goes on and on. In the plant, the importance of cleanliness arguably reaches its highest. Here are just a few reasons why cleanliness is included in the lean 5-S system:
New water-based cleaning and degreasing agents
can be used in parts cleaners.
There is much to be said for keeping your machines clean. Here are some tips for keeping your plant clean, lean and reliable:
When a spill occurs, immediately put absorbent pads in place to mitigate the risk of slippage, fire, environmental contamination, etc. - particularly for an oil spill. While this may not provide a permanent solution, it enables you to manage the risk until the root cause of the leak can be found and corrected. Great products are available in the market for soaking up the spills that will not only keep your floors clean but help you stay clean with the Environmental Protection Agency and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
"Cleanliness is indeed next to godliness." Perhaps that's why you've got to be clean to run lean. Improve the reliability and inspectability of your plant and its machines by taking a fresh approach to cleanliness. Plus, you'll make your maintenance and operations employees happier, healthier and prouder to be a member of your team. You'll also find that your customers, the EPA and OSHA will be impressed by your efforts. In all cases, the benefits are a slam dunk.
About the author:
Rick Morgando is the brand manager for Kafko International, the manufacturer of Oil Eater cleaners and degreasers. For more information, visit www.oileater.com or call 800-528-0334.