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Achieving Lean Changeover by John R. Henry

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75
Chapter 5
Simplify
It is difficult to imagine a task or process that cannot be simplified.
Everyone on the production floor must constantly ask themselves, “How
can I simplify and improve this?” There must then be a system in place
whereby these ideas will always be considered respectfully, and when they
have merit, implemented. All employees must be encouraged to recom-
mend improvements no matter how farfetched they might seem. They
must not stop thinking just because it’s 5 o’clock, either. Chances are that
they will see, almost every day, ideas that are applicable on the production
oor. They must keep their eyes open and bring these ideas to work the
next day.
Smooth Surfaces for Cleaning
Consider the common kitchen stovetop. Some readers may have or remem-
ber older style ranges with individual burners or heating elements. As the
sauce would boil over, it would run down into the burners and thence into
the stove. Cleaning required disassembly and lots of elbow grease. Even
then it still seldom seemed really clean. Modern ranges have a smooth, non-
stick, ceramic top. Spills are easily wiped up, and with a minimal amount of
cleaning, the five-year old surface looks as good as it did when new.
76 ◾  Achieving Lean Changeover: Putting SMED to Work
Production machinery and production spaces must be designed with
ease of cleaning in mind. One factor that influences ease of cleaning is
smoothness. Cracks and crevasses as well as sharp inside corners should
be avoided. Where joints are unavoidable, if the panels do not need to be
removed frequently, filling them with silicone caulking compound helps to
prevent dirt infiltration. Rough surfaces can be painted with heavy “crack
filler” paints to smooth them out.
When fasteners interrupt an otherwise smooth surface, they slow clean-
ing. In the case of a stud with a nut, the exposed threads will catch grime. If
cleaned well, they will consume additional time. An acorn nut can often be
used to cover the exposed threads. A bolt with hex head can be difficult to
clean around due to the corners. A button-head bolt with a female hex may
be a viable, and smoother, alternative. Fill the hex socket with silicone if it
is not regularly removed. Best of all is a countersunk flathead screw or bolt.
This leaves the surface completely flush for ease of cleaning.

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