TWI CardHacks - "Have Everything Ready"

"Have Everything Ready" Doesn't really have that flashy Lean sound does it? It doesn't have the name recognition of problem killers like 5S, PokeYoke, Kanban, etc. Yet, this Get Ready point may be the most overlooked Lean key point of them all. One of the reasons for this is that we often take for granted that Everything is um, already, Ready.

On one of my first practice Job Breakdown Sheets, I went out to the floor in a web coating operation. I was interested in a breaking down a changeover job that involved some calendaring rolls. The rolls, quite heavy, were supported by a bearing block on each end, about seventy five lbs. each. When I watched the mechanic pull the bearing off the roll, he used a precarious trick to move the 75lb. block from the roll end, hanging in the air, and over to the workbench about six feet away. His trick was to slide the block and rest it on his thigh, and then shuffle over to the work bench while supporting the block with this hands and thigh.

Perhaps you can imagine what I was thinking: "I won't write down this key point!" 

Number one, what I observed was clearly unsafe - potential problems were back injuries, broken toes, broken feet, pulled muscles, lacerations or crushed digits if he smashed his finger between the block and the work bench.

Also, if he managed to do the job unscathed, which he often did, what if he dropped the block on the ground? Damage to the bearing and the floor was at risk, causing unneeded expense. In addition, without knowing if spare bearings were available, the damage could result in unplanned downtime and missed promise dates or shutdowns of subsequent production lines.

You, see the workplace was NOT ready. This is one example, of tens of millions, that plague our workplaces. When you right a job breakdown sheet, don't just write down what you see. This is your opportunity to question what it is you see. This is one of the hidden benefits of using a questioning method as we are taught when pulling keypoints out of the job. It leads us to Learn to See problems in the workplace.

In this way, we are tuning our eyes to see problems in the workplace.

After talking about the problem in more detail, I learned that not only did the nightmare potential problems flashing through my mind were valid, some of them had already happened. It was time to make an improvement and stop the chain of accidents and problems cold in their tracks. We talked little more and we found an extra die table that needed repair, but would do the trick. After we fixed the control valve on it, he could raise the table to the end of the roll, safely slide the block onto the table, wheel the table over to the workbench and then safely slide the block onto the bench for maintenance.

We felt a lot better about writing down "Use die table" in the keypoints. Better yet, the mechanics quickly rattled off the reasons why with total buy-in.

Check out the TWI CardHacks for "Have Everything Ready". By doing so, you can set the example of how work should be done safely, correctly, quickly and conscientiously in the workplace.

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