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July 2, 2013

Turning Ugly Duckling Spaces into Swans

The physics department at the Allan Blair Cancer Centre has been home to a machine and wood shop and electronics area which, over the years, have become a haven for assorted equipment, wires, electronics – even a Charlie’s Angels pinball machine. These shops, along with a storage area, presented a perfect 5S opportunity.

5S is a Lean improvement tool, with each “S” representing an improvement concept: sort, sweep, standardize, simplify, and self-discipline. Applying 5S methodology to any work space helps improve the environment and enhance patient and staff safety.  

A project team was formed to apply 5S methodology to the machine and wood shops and the storage and electronics areas.  Through three separate events, the team:
•    Reclaimed 274 cubic feet and 520 square feet
•    Re-purposed the wood shop as an electronics and training mould room
•    Re-purposed the machine shop as a temporary home for the pharmacy department
•    Removed four pallets of old electronics
•    Removed 200 pounds of scrap metal
•    Discarded 6,840 liters (19 bins) of garbage

The team is working through the sustain phase and implementing other improvements that were not completed during the 5S events.

Before 5S 

After 5S

Physics 5S project team: Chris Newcomb (sponsor), Craig Beckett (lead), Gabe Bonnell, Jason Venekamp, Scot Thiesson and Wanda MacDonald with support from Quality, Safety and Risk

(Source: Saskatchewan Cancer Agency’s The Agency Link)