Setting up a 5S program in a maintenance shop is harder than training a cat to use the toilet. It can be done, but it could become a very long and tedious process. 5S in a maintenance shop has challenges that 5S on the production floor doesn't.
In a production environment, even a poorly developed process has understandable steps. Do this, then do something else, install this widget and do something else. During process analysis, it's easy to identify what tools are necessary and which ones aren't.
"A place for everything and everything in it's place."
5S in a maintenance shop is a bit of a beast. In a typical maintenance department, each job can be a unique task. As machines breakdown or PM's come up, different repairs are necessary. Every job requires unique tools and various combinations of spare parts. Most team members own their own tools as well, and are highly protective of them. How can you standardize and implement 5S in this non-standard maintenance shop environment?
"We don't have time to do this 5S thing when we're constantly struggling to keep the factory from falling apart!"
The video below is a great example of a successful roll-out of 5S in a maintenance shop environment. The industry is mining and the work area is a field or mobile shop. All the aforementioned problems are touched upon and addressed.
Starting with a joke about the key team member's resemblance to Billy Gibbons from ZZTop, this video had me hooked right from the beginning. Clocking in at almost 16 minutes it's a little longer than most of the videos I've linked to, but it's definitely worth watching.
It's not a simple review of the 5S steps. In fact, there's minimal reference to the specific S's. What's extremely valuable to me, however, is the actual changes made in the maintenance shop and the effectiveness of them.
We get to see the improvements made by the team in the maintenance shop. The before condition (just like all our workplaces) and the after condition, after rolling out 5S, training the team members and getting some work done.
For more about the 5S basics (Sort, Set-in-Order, Shine, Standardize and Sustain), consider checking out this comic series on 5S, another valuable Lean resource.
Whether in a maintenance shop, on the shop floor or in the office, as the narrator says, "5S isn't rocket science. It's just common sense."
Anyone else have experience with 5S in a maintenance shop environment?
Implementation of 5S in a Mobile Maintenance workshop from Peter Hill on Vimeo.
I've added this video to my huge list of Lean videos!