By Mrs. Jennifer Bacchus (AMC)May 30, 2019
ANNISTON ARMY DEPOT, Ala. -- Under the umbrella of Continuous Process Improvement at Anniston Army Depot are three concepts which assist the installation in finding cost savings and implementing more efficient processes.
These concepts are:
Lean, which is core to CPI, as it is used to identify and remove waste.
Six Sigma, a statistical and data-driven approach to finding deficiencies.
Six S, a productivity tool for work areas.
"Six S enables workspace organization and safety and creates a culture for perfection and efficient use of our resources," said Mark Johnson, the director of Production Engineering. "The thing to remember about Six S is a place for everything and everything in its place."
The six S elements are:
• Sort -- get rid of things not needed. Don't keep things just in case you need them.
• Straighten -- organize the items you need to keep in your work area.
• Scrub -- clean.
"This is cleaning to a different level -- paint walls, clean and paint equipment, and mop the floor. This gives us a chance to see and solve problems that may have been covered or hidden by dirt," said Johnson.
• Safety -- any safety issues must be addressed immediately and corrected.
• Standardize -- take actions to keep the work area in its new, improved condition. Through standardization, it should be obvious when anything is out of place.
• Sustain -- keep up or prolong.
"When we don't sustain and go back to the old ways, we fail. This boils down to self-discipline and ownership. Every employee in the organization from leadership to the employee on the floor has a role to play."
Each cost center should have a Six S board posted, which should be updated on a weekly basis.
"This is to help each organization see how they are doing against each of the Six S elements," said Johnson.
The Turret Systems #2/Artillery Branch has seen firsthand the positive impact a well-organized and clean workspace can have.
The branch employees opted to Six S their shop in the Spring and Summer of 2018.
They cleaned, painted, organized, optimized their work flow and kept it neat and organized.
"The nicer it looks, the better the employees keep it," said Mike Collier, the branch's supervisor.
So, when employees learned they were moving to a new building, they opted to sort, straighten, scrub, standardize and correct safety issues before moving in.
"The employees have really taken ownership of this process and a lot of changes are their idea," said Collier.
Caution stripes now adorn the floor at the foot of all stairways, even ones with only a few steps. Bright green paint guides those who may need assistance to the eyewash stations. And every specific area - from parts storage to work bays and places for cleaning supplies - is marked with paint in a color specific to what is stored or occurs in that space.
"A shop is like a classic car, it's all in the details," said Stacy Thornton, one of the branch's artillery leaders. "If it is properly maintained, everyone can enjoy it for generations to come and class never goes out of style."