Clean Manufacturing is Lean Manufacturing

Apr 5, 2024 | Dry Ice Blasting, General Maintenance

How 5 Simple Changes Can Make All The Difference

We consider ourselves very fortunate here at Dry Ice Works.  

We have the privilege of working with world-class manufacturers and manufacturing service providers who compete and win on a global scale. These manufacturers and manufacturing service providers are lean and agile, forward thinking and innovative. They have developed the necessary continuous improvement strategies to increase the value of their products and services while competing for commerce with other such organizations from around the world.

Inspired by our valued customers, Dry Ice Works also works diligently to improve the strategies and processes we use in our own daily operations. We have invested in Lean-Six Sigma training for our Team members and we are developing new and exciting innovations to better serve our clients and our customers.

As we’ve progressed through our Lean-Six Sigma journey, we’ve discovered that the basic 5-S methodology of Lean has saved us enormous time and money.

We’ve found that by continuously encouraging our Team members to only keep what’s necessary to the task at hand, our cleaning technicians operate at a much higher level of productivity.

This is the first of the five tasks in 5-S thinking : Sort

Sorting out the tools, equipment, and supplies that we need while eliminating the things we don’t need works fantastically well in our field operations and in our warehouse. And keeping our desks cleared of unnecessary items in the office encourages us to focus, stay on task, and see things through before moving on to the next order of business.

Staging  our work areas before we begin cleaning allows our field operations to simply ‘flow.’

Staging -sometimes called straighten, or set-in-order -is the second element of 5-S thinking. Staging saves us valuable time and materials. Staging our work area also prevents wasted time and energy searching for what we need.  Any time spent away from the task at hand does not provide the value we’ve promised to our customer. And any action which does not add value is considered waste.

Of course, we’ve also found that staging works wonders in our office environment as well.  We use visual controls throughout our work environment to stay on top of what’s happening, what has yet to happen, and what needs attention at any given time.

By staging our work areas and using visual controls we are improving our production rates and keeping our people safe -preventing accidents before they can occur.   

Shine , the third element of the 5-S strategy, just happens to be what we do best!

Shine can be defined as actively maintaining cleanliness; cleanliness of our person, cleanliness of our tools, cleanliness of our equipment, and of course, cleanliness of our work environment.

Keeping our work areas neat and clean is another contributing factor to our outstanding safety record! We keep our floors clean of dirt, oils, and fluids to avoid slip hazards, and we keep the floors clear of obstructions to eliminate trip hazards too.

Clean tools and clean equipment are easier to operate, maintain and sustain -making them work better and last longer. We’ve also found that clean tools and equipment tend to stay clean too.  Setting our corporate standard at the clean and lean level has done wonders for our morale and Team spirit!

And speaking of standards, that is the fourth element of the Lean 5-S operational strategy,  Standardize.

Once we eliminated the waste of non-essentials (Sort), and staged our work areas for maximum productivity (Stage), keeping things neat and tidy (Shine) was easier and more enjoyable. This naturally led us to raise our standard expectations of what was possible -in the office and in our field operations.

The final stage in the Lean 5-S methodology is called  Sustain.

Sustaining a high level of Team member engagement in our Lean 5-S program has been surprisingly easy. Working alongside such productive and happy team members in a clean and safe environment has raised our spirits, improved our bottom line, and made us much more effective and efficient at our work. The benefits of being happier, more fulfilled and more productive in our work have increased the value we are able to provide our valued Dry Ice Works customers too.

We enjoy learning new ideas here at Dry Ice Works and feel blessed and fortunate to work with such forward-thinking industry leaders.  We’re working hard to provide the very best industrial cleaning services to the very best customers on earth -You!

Contact us for a Free, no obligation site assessment and let’s work together to continuously improve all our operations -yours and ours.

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