the Work Area
my business of CNC training, Iíve visited many shops.
Iíve seen some interesting practices and some great ideas
during my visits to machine shops throughout the country.
We recently presented a CNC training class in
This facility has implemented an organizational plan, which
to me makes a lot of sense.
This company evaluated the time spent by each shop employee looking
for tooling during a machine set-up.
Then, they implemented a company-wide process to easily
locate items and then return them to their proper place.
this concept was of immediate interest to me.
If you didnít know, my favorite Beatles song is ďIím a
loserĒ. Donít give
anything to me for safekeeping, anything I touch, I lose.
So techniques to reduce my ďlosingĒ tendencies must be of
machine work area in this shop was laid out very well.
Each machine had a wooden pegboard on which was painted the
outline of each individual tool.
The background was white and the outline of each tool was
the tool was removed from the pegboard the bright red shape was a
visible reminder that the tool was in use and needed to be put back
workbench by each machine had been given similar treatment.
Outlines of micrometers and dial calipers had been painted.
There was also space for additional measuring equipment that
may be required.
was impressed by an interesting, yet simple idea for storage of hex
(Allen) wrenches. A
complete set of metric and inch Allen wrenches was fixed to the
headstock of the machine with a large strip magnet.
Prior to fixing the magnet to the machine some enterprising
person had spray-painted all the metric keys in red and all the inch
keys in white.
concept dramatically reduces the time the set-up staff spends sorting
out wrenches. Generally both metric and inch wrenches are required at
the machine (metric for the machine and inch for the tooling), so why
not be able to easily see the difference.
is it costing in real dollars when 3, 5 or 10 minutes are wasted
looking for tools that should be in one place but arenít.
If your machine time is worth $60 per hour, you could be losing
$3, $5 or $10 during the search for each tool.
this particular company, these simple steps lead to a big improvement
in finding things. Additionally,
and to every oneís surprise, people are now putting things away.
Tools and equipment are returned to their proper place after
concepts are not only useful in the shop.
While visiting our
customer, a walk through their office revealed a neat and organized
work space. Any
ďcommunityĒ or movable item in the office is outlined. For example
staplers, tape dispensers and scissors were all shown by small tape
our return to sunny
implemented some of these ideas in our offices.
The stapler, which would often go missing, now has a permanent
home and rarely gets misplaced. That
empty outline is clear proof that the stapler is missing and needs to
can tell people to put things away in the proper place, but a quick
visual reminder can be quite helpful.
Imagine, finding what you need quickly and putting it back
after itís been used.
me, getting organized could be a long and winding road, but hey, maybe
IĒll end up with a new favorite Beatles tune.