Seiketsu Activities for Incomplete Products

Operation: Seiketsu maintenance operation for incomplete products of a workshop at a machining plant.

Problem: In the machining workshop of this plant, incomplete products which have been machined are put into bins/containers and then piled high. When observed closely, it is clear that these items are transported covered with dirt, trash and sawdust.

After they are taken to the assembly workshop, they are put in empty spots in “Seiton” racks, still covered with dirt, trash sawdust.

“Seiso” is being done diligently for machinery, jig, tools, floors, aisles etc., but the incomplete products are yet to be touched. Because of this, it is not until they are assembled that scratches and other defects are discovered.

Several members of the QC circle have submitted this as a problem which needs to be solved.

Grasping the Situation in which Incomplete Products are not kept clean and many defects have to be repaired

In order to keep incomplete items in a constant state of cleanliness, the workshop itself must be very clean, and work clothes, too, must be clean. Keeping this in mind, the workers looked at the problem from three points of view in order to create measures for making improvements aimed at total “Seiketsu” maintenance.

Obvious problem:

The troublemaker behind the dirty incomplete products is the lack of “Seiso” and “Seiketsu” in the workshop

(1) The amount of dirt on the incomplete products varies according to the machine which has processed it.
(2) When observed closely, it can be seen that the amount of dirt which machinery, jigs, and moulds produce varies.
(3) The amount of dirt and trash generated varies according to the condition of the containers for the incomplete products, and the floors, aisles, and “Seiri” shelves.
(4) The extent of dirt and trash “Seiso” in the room makes a difference as to how the dirt sticks to the incomplete products.

Then the quality circle members divided the task of finding out what sort of losses were occurring.

Occurring losses:

Loss due to defects, decrease in production and chronic disorders

(1) The dirt, trash and dust which sticks to the incomplete objects (minor defect) necessitates repairs of defects. This increases cost and decreases production and thereby added value.
(2) The preceding processes are busy by maintaining “Seiketsu” and incomplete products (in order) and, there is no chance of improvement of chronic defects.

The members of the quality circle all realized that by preventing these losses, costs would be reduced and profits would increase. In order to create measures for maintaining “Seiketsu” of incomplete products with a minimum of effort on a continuing basis, the members next looked into the essential factors of the dirty items.

Harmful factors:

A lack of consciousness concerning “Seiketsu” and improvements for getting rid of the sources of the problem

(1) There have been no arrangements made for creating easy to achieve conditions to make “Seiton” of incomplete products simple (elimination of dirt and trash in containers racks, and conveyance equipment).
(2) Measures for getting rid of the sources of dirt, trash, and dust on machinery, jigs, tools, floors, and aisles have yet to be taken.
(3) Efforts to raise workers consciousness concerning “Seiso” have got off to a late start.
(4) The work clothes, gloves, and safety shoes of workers who handle incomplete products are not kept clean.
(5) There are no provisions for changing clothes if they become dirty since there are no laundry facilities.

Setting the Five pillars for incomplete product “Seiketsu” Maintenance System:

When the QC circle members organized all the information which had been individually gathered the above was concluded. Next, they considered what the situation ought to look like, and made up improvement themes and improvement directions for each of the harmful factors. After that, they did systematic analysis and considered concrete improvements plans.