Portland Fabrication Progress

Our Lean 5S Journey

One of our goals this year was to “dramatically improve efficiency and standardization” in our Portland Fabrication shop.  After considering several options, we decided that the best method is to “fully implement Lean 5S”.

Lean 5S

This is the story of our journey so far:

  1. We trained all stakeholders on the Lean 5S method.
  2. We scheduled recurring meetings to make sure we are making the desired progress
  3. We following the implementation steps below:
    • We started in the “Sort” step
      1. Eliminated all unneeded items (recycled or trashed tools and materials)
      2. Purchased and installed a circus tent and stored all “non-fabrication” items in the tent
      3. Labeled inventory, returned anything not necessary, scrapped the rest
    • Next we went to the “Straighten” step
      1. Hung tool peg boards in work areas and “retired the tool boxes” in the shop
      2. Straightened the shop lay out and inventory
      3. Implemented inFlow materials management system
    • Next came the “shine” step
      1. Purchased a mechanical floor sweeper
      2. Hung peg boards in each work area with “necessary cleaning tools”
      3. Changed culture to “clean as we go” mentality
    • Standardize
      1. This is the step we currently are focusing on; we must change the culture so everyone understands the “Lean 5S” culture at BMWC.
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As you can see from above, we have made good progress on our Lean 5S culture and we won’t stop until we have perfected the “Sustain” step.  Once we are there in the shop we will begin to tackle “Lean 5S in the field”.


  • (will not be published)