Starting with the Basics - 5S Event Success at Mundelein

In May, a team led by a first-time Kaizen event facilitator was formed to start working on one of the internally threaded fastener cold forming machines with the basics — the House of Excellence – 5S. With initial audit results in hand, which they prepared during four weeks of pre-planning, the 3-1/2 day Kaizen journey was on its way. A refresher was held on the principles of 5S, standards, visual management, and waste elimination, including a traditional Waste Walk exercise, which enabled the team to uncover more than 50 improvement opportunities. The M10 locknut producing piece of equipment was ready to be optimized.

The team worked through the Sort, Set in Order, Shine, Standardize and Sustain phases over 3-1/2 days, resulting in visible improvements regarding safety, cleanliness, maintenance, appearance, and organization of the machine.

The Kaizen facilitator learned the value of setting a team in motion and harnessing the ability of MacLean-Fogg employees to work seamlessly together toward a common goal. She stated that the best outcome that surfaced during the event was watching employees work as a team, proving that any challenge can be conquered with determination, passion, and collaboration. Each team member contributed to discussions, and brainstormed new ideas to break unproductive habits and discover new and efficient ways of performing every day activities.

Today, the team continues to complete follow-up items and plans to have updates as they progress on their journey toward developing new ways of performing tasks and actualizing impressive results!

The Kaizen team included 1st and 2nd shift forming operators, Mundelein; tool design engineer, Mundelein; and Vice President of Sales, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Special thanks is extended to the support received from the forming lead, forming supervisor and members from maintenance, Mundelein. The Mundelein general manager supported the working environment necessary to hold a successful Kaizen event and the director of continuous improvement provided coaching support, as needed. This first-time facilitator now has experience and success under her belt and is ready to take on future improvement challenges.