Shortening Tool setting Time – Seiton System

Operation: Frame mounting Seiton operation for the frame processing assembly workshop of a heater manufacturer.

Problem: The frame mountings which are used in this work shop are assembled at another workshop and carried to an out door storage area where they are kept.

A’s job is to carry the mountings from the storage area to the workshop and then attach the frames. The problem is that carrying the mountings takes up a good deal of time. At times, the mountings cannot be taken out of the wrong mounting is brought in, and tool setting operations are halted and attachment operation are stopped.

This means that production is not increased. Deliveries are late, and customers are inconvenienced. Besides the fact that they are always busy, workers become physically and mentally worn out because of the wasted actions of handling the heavy objects, and are irritated.

Young A submitted this problem to his group leader G. He felt that he would like to make improvements which made the workers job easier and more enjoyable and at the same time raised productivity.

Understanding the Situation in which Transportation of Frame Mountings Takes Too Much Time:

A with the permission of G, and decided to create an improvement proposal which could resolve this problem. First of all, he got an understanding of the situation.

Obvious problem: It takes too long to obtain the mountings.

1) The frame mounting processing workshop, brings the mountings with forklift and stacks them up in any vacant spot, and leaves without organizing them.
2) Large and small, short and long, all the frames are mixed together. When it becomes difficult to stack them in one place, they are stacked in another, until the storage area has become quite crowded.
3) When the mounting assembly workshop wants mountings at the bottom of the pile which is in the middle of a stack, they take off the items on top of it and place them elsewhere. When they get the mounting they want, they take it leaving the displaced items as they are. The mountings in the storage area are always in a different spot, facing in a different position.
4) The mountings at the bottom of the pile are never used and become long term stock of unfinished products.

Occurring losses: Number of items produced has decreased and products are defective. Accidents and operational cost has increased.

1) It takes too much timer to carry the mountings.
2) The mountings rust, and removing the rust takes time. When wrong mounting is brought, defects occur, man hours are spent taking it back and replacing it.
3) Dealing with these heavy objects is physically draining some workers have back problems etc due to the strain.
4) Operations are dangerous and also accidents are frequent.
5) Because workers are cautious in the dangerous situation, there is hesitation, operational pace drops, and productivity does not increase.
6) There is unending stock of unfinished products which has piled up.

‘A’ was certain that there must be a way to keep these seeds of profit from slipping away. In order to work out the proper measures he went through all the points in item 1) obvious problems and investigated their causes.

Causes of loss: No established Seiri Seiton system (steps) and no person in charge of Seiri Seiton

1) Even though the frames are all of different sizes, they are all stored in the same storage area. Since they are all stacked together, they are liable to fall. There are no divisions or aisles for the storage area.
2) There is no set way to place or an order (or system) of placement.
3) There is no one in charge of Seiri Seiton, and the workers have no consiedration for the subsequent process operations.
4) Those who place the mountings (Seiri side) and those who use them (Seiton side) have different in-house subcontracting, and have no feelings for people with whom they have no apparent connection.

There is no Seiton system (steps) so each person works using his own system.

Improvement Implementation Policy for Mounting Frame Seiton System (Steps):

‘A’ has problem awareness which enables him to find problems where most people see nothing out of the ordinary. He used this awareness to help organize the unwanted situation from three points of view.

Then A conceived of the following improvement themes and their policies.

Improvements for frame mountings Seiton system (steps):

The person who takes the frame mounting from the storage area will, in accordance with posted directions, leave the mountings in order so that the next person who becomes can find his mounting quickly and take it out easily.

Improvements for the storage area setup:

1) The storage area and items will be labeled so that items can be located and obtained with minimal restocking without searching.
2) The storage area will be clarified in an operations direction chart so that searching time is reduced.

Install racks for mountings, introduce stationary base system:

By installing mounting racks with awnings (covering) and making bases stationary, the need to remove by forklift those racks placed directly on the floor will be reduced, and rust occurrence will be prevented.

Improvements for fixing the order in which mountings are stacked:

1) By fixing the order for stacking mountings, restacking time will be shortened.
2) A circled number will be written on the mounting bases, and order of placement indicated.
3) Mounting will be placed in order of operations, with those used first placed on the top.

Improvements in confirmation method of delivery places for those who operate the forklifts:

The forklift operator will be able to confirm the places for stacking mountings from the driver’s seat, instead of having to get out and check, which will shorten conformation time and reduce mistakes.


1) D frame pile has collapsed (unsafe, bad Seiri Seiton)
2) There is rust in all the frames, except for H. (defects)
3) The bases are scattered all over (bad Seiri Seiton) and mountings are placed directly on floor(cause)
4) The movement distance for confirmation of delivery places is too long (cause)
(uses man hours)

Main Improvements Points for Improvement Theme with Emphasis on Frame Mounting Seiton system Improvements (Steps):

Improvement points for frame mounting Seiton system (steps):

1) When withdrawing a mounting, fix collapsed piles before returning to workshop, according to operations directions.
2) Mountings will be withdrawn in piles of about ten (enough for processing one lot)
3) Withdraw front mounting and back mounting simultaneously
4) In the workshop, mountings will be stacked on base in order of operational deadlines.

Improvement points for fixing order of placement and maintaining mounting storage area:

1) Mountings will be placed in order of operational (order) numbers. Put name of place to be delivered at back.
2) Arrange in two lines from left rear by process lot.
3) Place on base at right angles
4) Deliver back mounting and front mounting simultaneously.

Expected Results after Improvements:

If improvements are put into action completely, the following results can be expected.

1) Seiton and tool setting time will be drastically reduced, and time saved can be utilized for actual production, thus saving production time.
2) Injuries incurred while moving mountings in the storage area will be prevented.
3) Chronic unfinished products will disappear.

Preventive Measures

1) Put up a signboard indicating steps in which mountings are to be placed, and a signboard indicating order for withdrawal, so that all workers can do Seiri Seiton.
2) The Seiri side (those who place the mountings) and the Seiton side (those who with draw them) should get into the habit of making mutual checks.