Maintaining Safety through Seiton System

Operation: Seiton operation for delivering components from the assembly workshop of a heater manufacturer.

Problem: The problem that D had been concerned about culminated in an accident in the next process. D recommended process sent some outer plates to the next process and left them sacked standing up against a mounting frame. The person who was going to use the frame, moved it and the outer plates fell on the foot of a worker working next to it. This kind of atmosphere, this kind of condition, and this sort of danger is rampant in the workshop.

D decided that making a safer working atmosphere and working conditions ought to lead to greater efficiency. He also felt that Seiri and Seiton were prerequisites, and took his ideas to his group leader, M. M heard him and immediately gave him instructions to make improvements.

Understanding the Situation in which there is Danger:

D aiming for efficiency, safety, and quality, first got hold of the reality of the situations. He took M’s advice to start at the first step improvements and looked at the situation from three points of view.

Obvious problem: There is no accident prevention

1) The storage area for the next process (outer plate painting, frame painting, finishing etc) is narrow and not clearly fixed.
2) There are no containers in the next process for parts and materials
3) There is no set method for transporting things to the next process.
4) Even the assembly workshop does not confirm items to be transported (outer plates and small parts)
5) There is no clear way for the next process to accept items (outer plates and small parts)
6) It is not clear from graphs (there is no operational direction chart) where items should be sent.
7) Items are not grouped together by order and sent all together to the next process, but sent as completed.
8) Processes and operations are mixed together (the same workshop has frames and outer plates being processed at once).
9) Transporting routes for outer plates and small parts are different.
10) There is no item form sent to the next process.
11) There are no safety considerations, workers avoid danger based on their own experience. Injuries to new workers and helpers from other departments are increasing.

Occurring losses: Reduced production volume, losses from defects and accidents

1) Searching for components takes time.
2) The wrong items are attached creating defective products.
3) Operations are halted and production volume decreased.
4) Injuries to arms and legs have to be treated, so operation is halted and production volume decreases.
5) After defects from wrong attachment are fixed, they have to be re-painted.

D decided that losses, including losses from accidents, would amount to quite a bit. He judged that it would be profitable to take the time to make improvements. In order to take appropriate measures for improvement, he decided to find the real causes of the loss (waste, strain, inconsistency, anger, and deterioration).

Causes of loss: There is no structure for delivery and transportation and no one in charge

1) Workers are only concerned with raising productivity, and do on Seiri Seiton.
2) Because of this, necessary for each, individual order are not collected together (individual order production cannot be completed if even one part is missing) or (for materials used in common by different products) by lot and sent to the next process.
3) There is no structure for confirming what has already been sent.
4) For in house-outside orders, supervisors only care about the efficiency and profitability of their own domain and delivery control is not uniformly practiced.
5) There are no operations direction charts or directions from recipients on graphs. There is an order form for in house subcontractor, but there are no instructions in it as to where it is to be sent or what the delivery date is.
6) Lots cannot be distinguished because there is a lack of transportation cars and storage containers.
7) Storage areas are not clear.
8) There are no workers in-charge of delivery or receiving, so communication cannot be made nor questions asked.
9) Item whose method of processing is complicated are reserved for doing later on.

After finding the above causes D has put up his remedial proposals to M who in turn discussed implementation with his manager. The proposals were approved and the accidents and consequently losses have come down drastically to acceptable levels.