When working on a 5S project it is important to not only look at the big things that are causing waste, but also those smaller areas where there can be improvements. One of the simplest things you can do when working to eliminate waste in a facility is to use floor signs throughout the area. There are many types of floor signs that you can use, and when used properly, they can eliminate a variety of types of waste.
There are two main types of floor signs to consider when working on a 5S project. Temporary floor signs can be placed in an area for a short time to alert people to something such as a spill or other hazard. The long term floor signs, such as those that can be stuck to floors, walls or machinery, will help direct people on something they need to know about the area. There are hundreds of pre-made floor signs that can be ordered, or it is possible to have them custom made without spending too much money.
The important thing is to figure out exactly which of these signs you need, and where they will go. Walking through a facility and brainstorming ideas about what uses they could have, and what types of waste they could help eliminate is a great way to start coming up with ideas. Remember, when working on a 5S project, all waste should be reduced or eliminated whenever possible, so keep your eyes open for anything that isn’t working efficiently.
How Floor signs can Help Eliminate Waste
When managing any 5S project it is a good idea to go through each of the 5S’s and see where that specific type of waste can be eliminated. When making a list of what types of floor signs you need to order, starting with the 5S’s is important. Here are each of the 5S’s and how floor signs may be able to help with improvements:
- Sort – Keeping only the necessary items in the work place is a great way to reduce inventory and cut back on waste. Using floor signs, you can mark off storage areas for each inventory item you need. By having a visual indication of how much of each inventory item should be on hand, it is easier to know when to make orders, and when to hold off.
- Set in Order – Arranging items to promote efficient workflow is an important task that can be greatly benefited from floor signs. Using floor signs, it is simple to make sure everything remains in order, so everyone knows exactly where to go for each item or activity that they need to perform.
- Shine – Clean the work area so it is neat and tidy. Once again, floor signs are a great way to help the workplace shine. You can organize desks, floor space, storage areas and just about anything else by using these signs.
- Standardize – Set standards for a consistently organized workplace. When setting standards, make sure to use floor signs to help with the implementation. These are visual items that can serve as great reminders to employees about the new standards.
- Systematize – Maintain and review standards throughout the facility. Floor signs will help to maintain standards in the facility by keeping easy to remember. This will help to avoid lapses and problems from people falling into bad habits.
Going through the 5S’s is a great way to generate some ideas for how and where floor signs should be used in a facility. Another great way to come up with these ideas is by looking at what other people have done in the past. The following are great real world ways that people can use these visual signs to help improve a facility and eliminate waste.
- 5S Red Tag Holding Area – Marking an area where red tags will be held is a great way to keep organized, and will also ensure everyone knows where to go when they need to put in a change, or when something needs to be moved.
- Finished Products – Having clearly defined areas where finished products should go is essential. Using floor tape and signs it is easy to reserve specific areas for completed products only. This can help to avoid wasted time looking for the items, and also avoid problem where unfinished products are placed with finished ones.
- Placement Signs – Using signs to let people know where items should be stored is a great idea. Garbage bins, for example, are often moved when being emptied or when needed for a specific task. Having placement signs will ensure everyone knows where the bin should be returned to. This can also be used for recycling bins.
- Clean / Dirty Rags – Having a sign to let people know where to place clean items vs. dirty items is an excellent idea. Whether it is rags or some other item, this can help ensure only clean or unused products are used so everything can get done properly.
- Forklift Parking – Using floor signs to identify an area as reserved for forklift parking is a great way to ensure that area is not blocked or used for other things. This will help to avoid wasted time that will be spent moving items, or finding another place to park the forklift.
There are hundreds of uses for floor signs in most facilities. Taking some time to figure out how these signs can be beneficial in your specific area is well worth it. Most people find that these signs are far more useful than they would have thought at first.