The Right Approach: Quick & Easy 6S to Reduce Handling Issues

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Handling is often the source of many pain points for PCB fabricators, resulting in rework, scrap and customer returns. Quick & Easy 6S is a fantastic tool to minimize handling risk by reducing product travel and improving shop cleanliness.

6S Methodology

6S (Figure 1) is literally five Japanese words beginning with the letter S, plus Safety, which together form a systematic process for organizing a workplace. While this may seem to be a minor tool in the war on waste, the benefits include quality and safety improvements, leadtime reduction, reducing hidden waste, and of course, increased profits. Below we will explore what the six Ss are and why they are important.

Sort (Seiri): Ensuring each item in a workplace is in its proper place or identified as unnecessary and then removed; it’s simply getting rid of unnecessary stuff.

Questions to ask:

Can this task be simplified?

Do we label items properly and dispose of waste frequently?

Set in Order (Seiton): Arrange materials and equipment so that they are easy to find and use. Prepare and label storage areas using paint, tape, outlines, or color-codes. Shadow boards are a great way to identify the type and location of tools (Figure 2).

Questions to ask:

How much time is spent looking for things and putting things away?

Can we improve the ergonomics of this task?

Shine (Seiso): Repair, clean and shine work area; in other words, “everyone is a janitor” (this is a concept that U.S. workers have a difficult time embracing!). Aside from any safety or health risks, employees honestly perform better in a neat and clean environment.

Read the full article here.


Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in the May 2016 issue of The PCB magazine.


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