Flow improvements called “5S” at Avanzar | Jeffrey Liker

See on Scoop.itlean manufacturing

“Recently I revisited Avanzar, Toyota’s interior and seating supplier for their San Antonio, Texas truck plant.  Most major suppliers are on-site delivering directly to the factory which in the case of seat assembly is right across a wall. Avanzar’s CEO, Heriberto (Berto) Guerra, was very excited about their Japanese advisor, formerly of Toyota, and all he had been teaching them about real kanban.  I had visited a year earlier and Mr. Guerra was very excited about their Japanese advisor, formerly of Toyota, who was teaching them kanban. A year before that, he said they were making progress in a few model areas and now there was kanban everywhere. Mr. Guerra also raved about the way their advisor was teaching them 5S, which again I found confusing.”

Michel Baudin‘s insight:

A well-documented case of Lean implementation at a just-in-sequence supplier ot seats to Toyota’s plant in San Antonio, TX. An oddity of this case  is that they lump under the “5S” label all sorts of changes that are well beyond it, such as redesigning part presentation at assembly to make frequently used items easily accessible, or kitting parts.

Of course, as long as it works for them, they can call it whatever they want. For communication with the rest of us, however, as Jeffrey found, it is confusing.

See on www.manufacturingpulse.com

2 comments on “Flow improvements called “5S” at Avanzar | Jeffrey Liker

  1. That doesn’t sound all that different from the usage by the Toyota (and Honda, Nissan, and Mazda) engineers I worked with in the early nineties. They seemed to use 5S almost interchangeably with kaizen at their suppliers. Maybe they didn’t want to introduce Japanese terms, and just keep it simple. But it made some sense to me, and I still tend to take a very ‘broad’ interpretation of the five steps of 5S. Certainly, we included parts presentation, organization by frequency, and “kanban-squares” and the like in 5S. The 5S video tapes from the Japan Institute of Plant Maintenance also seem to take this broader interpretation. Finally, I was told that when Honda explained how they had achieved a 40% reduction in cost, in order to deal with the currency exchange problems resulting from of the Plaza Accord (1985), they attributed it to 5S. So, I am neither confused nor surprised at the use of the terminology

  2. Pingback: Questions from Croatia about 5S | Michel Baudin's Blog

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