Wednesday, 7 April 2021

We've implemented 5S projects to help improve our production environment

Garador's Martin Best and David Burton inspect the production facility on a Gemba Walk

As part of a programme to improve the production environment and working processes more generally at Garador we’ve implemented a 5S programme over the last few years. Put simply, 5S is a workplace organisation method developed in Japan that helps to reduce manufacturing waste and optimise productivity. There are five phases: Sort, set in order, shine, standardise and sustain.

Garage doors are systematically manufactured on a large scale at Garador’s production facility in Yeovil, with raw materials entering at one end of the factory and finished products leaving at the other end. The plant is organised into key areas, each of which performs an important part of the production process, from cold-pressing sheets of steel to painting the garage doors. So it has been crucial to get each area organised and optimised.

On the framing lines, for example, there are clearly defined positions for every screw, fixing, washer and component so optimal throughput is achieved. A phrase that is often thrown around is “A place for everything and everything in its place” which ties into the strategy to create and maintain a clean, organised environment for production. We’ve also used the Kanban system as a method for visualising the workflow of a particular part of our manufacturing process, to better understand the actual work that passes through that process. This has enabled the production team to only produce what they need, when they need it.

David Burton examines items in the red tag area at Garador's Yeovil production facility


Keeping the plant clean and tidy at all times is a must, as if left unchecked; lots of unnecessary clutter can accumulate across the factory. To help with this, a red-tagging system has been introduced, where just about anything from pieces of equipment through to pallets of components, are tagged, registered and put in a special “red tag” area until a decision is made with what to do with them. This keeps things neat and tidy.

Making sure all of the 5S improvements are maintained for the long-term is important as it means that things won’t fall apart gradually overtime. To sustain the changes, the areas that have been improved will undergo a weekly audit, 5S projects will be reviewed every 6 months, and regular “Gemba Walks” will help to observe what’s happening day to day.

If you want to learn more about our range of garage doors, have a browse through our website by visiting www.garador.co.uk

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