How 5S Applies to your Equipment Carrying Cases

gemstarhomepagelinkLean Manufacturing envelops a variety of strategies to continually improve workflow. It focuses on eliminating wastes and consistently monitoring for inefficiencies. 5S is a popular organization strategy for the workplace. It is a simple method that uses sort, straighten, shine, standardize, and sustain as steps towards optimization.

The 5S strategy can be applied to more than just the work floor, however. Every process within a workflow can be tweaked to be leaner. This filters all the way down to the way you transport your products and/or equipment. Your cases or packaging may be eligible for upgrades that bring about greater efficiency and effectiveness. That is what Century College discovered about its carrying cases for the fragile equipment used in its classrooms.

The school often conducts classes offsite for certain programs. They have to transport equipment like microscopes and other delicate pieces on a regular basis. Their original solution was to use totes and boxes from Home Depot. However, instructors were dissatisfied with the security and internal organization these totes lacked. The process of securing the equipment made setup and takedown inefficient, and it was easy to lose some of the pieces.

To remedy this, they worked with a packaging company, Packnet, to create custom cases for their equipment. The new cases were exceptionally durable, which made them not only more protective to the equipment, but also more resistant to damage that would decrease its longevity. Packnet also created custom foam inserts to protect the pieces and keep them organized in a sensible fashion. This organization prevented instructors and students from losing the pieces, and it allowed the instructors to create an efficient, consistent protocol for setup and takedown.

We recently published an article about tradeshow cases that reflect similar outcomes. MNIMA LLC ordered custom crates to transport their large, fragile lighting displays to and from tradeshows. Not only did the crates provide superior protection, the customization drastically improved the setup and takedown as well as the ability to keep track of parts. Company representatives were able to spend more time presenting their products and never had to deal with broken or damaged pieces.

Proper organization and protection in equipment cases are simple concepts that deliver significant improvements. In the long run, a custom case for delicate components is more cost-effective than standard options. If your equipment cases don’t contribute to continuous improvement, contact Packnet for both suggestions and options. We can give you a free assessment, or you can call us at  952-944-9124.